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Margaret Steele
Page 44

M-U-M Volume 101 Number 5

6 8 11 22 75 From the Editors Desk From the Presidents Desk M-U-M Assembly News S.A.M. Minutes Our Advertisers


26 29 44 49 52 54 69 A Magician Prepares by Dennis Loomis Blood, Sweat, and Butterflies by Christian Painter COVER STORY by Bruce Kalver, PNP Excerpt from: Adelaide Herrmann: Queen of Magic Pro Files by James Munton Quick Look Book Nook: The Trapdoor Volume Two Illusions of Grandeur by David Seebach


32 34 38 43 50 59 70 72 74 76 76 78 Nielsen Gallery: Houdini by Lupe Nielsen Basic Training: Just One Coin by Ian Kendall I Left My Cards at Home by Steve Marshall Tech Tricks by Bruce Kalver Under/Over by Joshua Jay Informed Opinion New Product Reviews Anytime, Anyplace Any Deck by Aldo Colombini Theory & Art of Magic by Larry Hass Ive Been Thinkin by Norman Beck The Deans Diary by George Schindler Basil the Baffling by Alan Wassilak Confessions of a Paid Amateur by Rod Danilewicz
Cover Photo by Dexter Lane



M-U-M (ISSN 00475300 USPS 323580) is published monthly for $40 per year by The Society of American Magicians, 11086 S. Dartmoor Place, Parker, CO 80138 . Periodical postage paid at Parker, CO and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to M-U-M, c/o Manon Rodriguez, P.O. Box 505, Parker, CO 80138.

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Editor Michael Close Editor Emeritus David Goodsell Associate Editor W.S. Duncan Proofreader & Copy Editor Lindsay Smith Art Director Lisa Close
Society of American Magicians, 11086 S. Dartmoor Place Parker, CO 80138 Copyright 2011
Subscription is through membership in the Society and annual dues of $65, of which $40 is for 12 issues of M-U-M. All inquiries concerning membership, change of address, and missing or replacement issues should be addressed to: Manon Rodriguez, National Administrator P.O. Box 505, Parker, CO 80134 manon@magic.bz Skype: manonadmin Phone: 303-362-0575 Fax: 303-362-0424 Send assembly reports to: assemblyreports@gmail.com For advertising information, reservations, and placement contact: Mona S. Morrison, M-U-M Advertising Manager 645 Darien Court, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169 Email: mona@monamorrison.com Telephone/fax: (847) 519-9201 Editorial contributions and correspondence concerning all content and advertising should be addressed to the editor: Michael Close - Email: mumeditor@gmail.com Phone: 317-456-7234 Fax: 866-591-7392


Submissions for the magazine will only be accepted by email or fax. VISIT THE S.A.M. WEB SITE www.magicsam.com To access Members Only pages: Enter your Name and Membership number exactly as it appears on your membership card.
OCTOBER 2011 5


in addition to our regular illusion mix plus a brand-new, young CoVER SUBJECT this month is Marga- tiger! The dates are October 21-29. For more information visit ret Steele, who wrote www.illusionsinthenight.com. the May 2011 M-U-M cover The subject of the Nielsen Gallery this month is Harry Houdini. story on Adelaide Herrmann. I recently received the following update from compeer Barry Margaret has done a tremen- Fingerhut concerning the Houdini grave site: A well-meaning dous amount of research on but misguided fan had defaced Harry Houdinis grave. The words the life of Madame Herrmann, Harry Feva appeared in crude yellow paint on the granite ledger and was instrumental in the publication of Adelaide Herrmann, covering the world-famous magicians resting place. Queen of Magic Memoirs, Writings, ColIn June of 2011, my spouse (and lected Ephemera, which will be released later magic assistant) Ronnie and I visited the this fall. Houdini/Weiss family cemetery plot in Margaret is also a fine performer; her Machpelah Cemetery in Queens, New Cornucopia Act was one of the highlights York, to pay our respects and recite the of the 100th Salute to Magic show. PNP appropriate prayers for Houdini and his family. We found the stained stone Bruce Kalver saw that performance and ledger and called Robert Arra from was mightily impressed. He suggested that Sinai Memorials, LLC, to arrange for the Margaret would make a great cover subject, repair. Robert Arras team went to work and I heartily agreed. Youll find out more at our direction to clean and restore the about Margarets life in magic and music white horizontal gravestone. starting on page 44. The majestic family plot, near the In his column this month, Vinny Grosso MAGIC Live dealers room front of the cemetery, contains the graves writes about the importance of women in of Harry Houdini, his grandmother, his magic. I completely agree with Vinny, and revered father, Rabbi Mayer Samuel Im proud of the fact that this year M-U-M Weiss, his beloved mother, Cecelia Weiss, has featured four women as cover subjects brother Theo Hardeen Weiss, brother Nat (Donna Horn, Adelaide Herrmann, Suzanne, Weiss, and brother William Weiss. The and Margaret Steele). I believe that this is Machpelah Cemetery is on Cypress Hills unique in the history of this magazine, and St. off the Interboro/Jackie Robinson may well be unique in the history of any Parkway in Queens, New York, at Exit 2. major magic magazine. According to its Web site, the cemetery Steve (I take my coffee black) Beam is open Sunday through Friday, from 8:00 is another supporter of women in magic. a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Steve has recently released volume two of In August, Lisa, Ava, and I flew to the collected The Trapdoor (1989-1993). As Las Vegas to visit friends and attend with its predecessor (which was reviewed in MAGIC Live! The convention followed the May 2011 issue of M-U-M ), this volume David Charvet as Harry Blackstone Jr. the formula established in previous is chock full of magical goodies and laughs. performing the Buzz Saw illusion MAGIC Live conventions, including the A full review will appear in the November magazine-cover trading-card game and issue. If youre unfamiliar with the type of the badges that featured your picture on material The Trapdoor featured, check out the cover of MAGIC. The highlights for this months Quick Look Book Nook. me were the photo-op honoring fifty past David Seebach is back this month, with cover subjects (where Marvyn Roy taught a column on one of the toughest things us all how to take a bow), David Charvets about being an illusionist loading and uncanny performance of the Blackstone unloading all those big props. This month Buzz Saw illusion, and the museum, David returns to the Greenfield Performing which was put together by Lupe Nielsen. Arts Center in Milwaukee with his Illusions Registration was greatly expanded for in the Night show.David writes, This years this convention, which meant that the show will feature a theme of witchcraft. attendees were split into two groups. The Were bringing back the Jack O Lantern consequence of this was that there were Sword Basket and Paul Osbornes take on MAGIC Museum by Lupe Nielsen friends of mine at this convention whom I the venerable Strat-O-Spheres, which he never saw. The only time the entire group calls Orbs.Its an illusion-sized variation. Assistant Maureen and I are going to do a two-person mental was together in one place was at the opening and closing parties. routine with volunteers that also includes the De Kolta Chair. There was a good vibe throughout the convention, however, and And I learned a great, new effect with jumbo ESP cards from it was great to see the pals I did get to see, so Im glad I made the M-U-M contributor Dan Stapleton. Ive dressed it up with a trip. MAGIC Live Photos by David Linsell creepy Halloween tale that has an unexpected ending. All of this

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Women in magic
I heard a statistic that less than ten percent of magicians are women. I dont know how reliable the source was, but it got me thinking. While it is true the majority of performing magicians are male, the number of women in magic is much greater. When we think of women in magic we tend to think of the performers, the leading ladies, and the hard working assistants. Too often we dont think of all the women who contribute so much to our art. Within our great organization we have so many women who are important to its success and vitality: Mary Ann Blowers, our national treasurer; Marlene Clark, our national secretary; and Manon Rodriguez, our national administrator have all done amazing jobs. Our conventions wouldnt be possible without Virginia Apperson, Anne Weidhaas, and the women of the registration team. The layout for M-U-M is done every month by Lisa Close and our ads are managed by Mona Morrison. We also have two RVPs and several committee chairs who are women. There is another very important role women play in magic the moms of all the young magicians! Every magic event I attend there are always a few moms there supporting their sons or daughters interest in magic. I think back to my teen years and how much my mother helped and supported my magic endeavors. My mom took me to my first magic shop; she patiently waited while I had the guy behind the counter demo what seemed like everything in the shop. My mom always looked out for local performances by magicians to take me to. She would also take me to the local magic club meetings. Later, when I began performing, I was always in the need of help making the props I dreamt up. My mother was always there to sew a custom dove bag or a secret pocket in my jacket. While I will contend that I have the greatest, most supportive mother, I am sure my story is not unlike many of yours. I encourage you, the next time you see a mom ushering around her son or daughter at an assembly meeting, magic event, or convention, to let them know how important their role in magic is. Side note: On Halloween several years ago, my mother thought it would be a fun costume to be a magician, a parody of me when I was teenager. She dressed up in a tuxedo and spent the night interrupting every conversation she could by asking someone to pick a card! It was very funny but also disturbing to think I was that annoying. Thankfully no matter how annoying my practicing magic with her as my audience was, she never stopped supporting my interest in magic. He said that the S.A.M. did not provide any real benefits for him. Our primary benefits of the M-U-M and assembly meetings were no longer of interest to him. He was a seasoned professional and had more interest in giving back to the magic community than the need for growth as a professional. Dal and I immediately began to explain all of the programs the S.A.M. has that give back to the magic community and beyond, from the Houdini fund and Disaster Relief fund to our Veterans Program and Magic Week activities. As a member of the S.A.M. you support all of these incredible programs. The gentleman we were talking to said he hadnt thought of S.A.M. membership from that perspective and was now interested in reinstating his membership. So the next time you have a conversation with someone who is not a member and who doesnt think the S.A.M. has anything to offer them, see if he or she is interested in helping out other magicians. It is very similar to what President John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address with his famous line Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. PNP Bill Andrews also referenced a similar message in his inaugural presidents column. Being a member of the S.A.M. is not just about the benefits it provides you; it is also about what we members are committed to doing for our fellow compeers, magicians, and the art of magic.

Youth in Magic
I have been to several conventions this summer and it is difficult not to notice the young magicians. There is a great group of them in their late teens and early twenties who are participating on many levels. They have forged friendships through the S.Y.M., conventions, and camps. They are a close knit group, always sharing and encouraging each other. It is wonderful to see them and fun to watch them get better and better every year.

Our Constitution states in Article II - Purpose and Objectives to maintain and improve the ethical standards in the field of magic for professional performers, as well as amateurs, hobbyists, and collectors, in their relationships with one another and with the public. There have been several updates to our code of ethics, but none since the overwhelming influence the Internet and digital media has had on our art. A new update to our code of ethics was initiated by PNP Mike Miller and championed by our ethics chair Marc DeSouza. It has gone through many revisions with a lot of great input from national council members. It was brought up during the national council meeting at our convention in Pittsburgh this past July. There were three motions passed in reference to the new code, one of which was to publish a series of articles regarding the new code and what it means. These articles will appear soon in this magazine. I encourage you to take the time to read them. It is another way the S.A.M. demonstrates its dedication to preserving and promoting the art of magic.

A Real Good Reason to Join the S.A.M.

While at MAGIC Live this past August, I was with 1st Vice President Dal Sanders. We were talking with one of the lecturers, and we both complimented him on the great job he did. Through the course of the conversation, we learned that while he appreciated the work the S.A.M. did, he was not a member.

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S.A.M. National Officers

Dean: George Schindler, 1735 East 26th St., Brooklyn, NY 11229, (718) 336-0605, Fax (718) 627-1397, showbiz10@aol.com President: Vinny Grosso, 270 Mansion St., Coxsackie, NY 12051 (518) 756-1891 vinny@vinnygrosso.com President Elect: J. Christopher Bontjes, 2313 Atwood Ct., Danville, IL 61834 (217)431-4791 christopher@magicalentertainer.net First Vice President: Dal Sanders, 3316 Northaven Rd, Dallas, TX 75229 (214) 902-9200, DalSanders@StagemMagic.com Second Vice President: Kenrick ICE McDonald, P.O. Box 341034, Los Angeles, CA 90034, (310) 559-8968 kenrickicemcdonald@yahoo.com Secretary: Marlene Clark, 435 Main Street, Durham, CT 06422, (860) 349-8149, Skype: marlene.clark, afuntime@comcast.net Treasurer: Mary Ann Blowers, 3 Christopher Bluffs Court, St. Louis, MO 63129 (314) 846-8468 maryblowers@aol.com Skype: maryan.blowers

Regional Vice Presidents

New England: CT MA RI NH ME VT Joseph Caulfield (603) 579-9700, josephcaulfield@joesephcaulfield.com North Atlantic: NY NJ Pat Colby, samrvppat@gmail.com Mid Atlantic: PA DE MD VAWV DC David W. Bowers, 169 Tobin Dr., Chambersburg, PA 17201(717) 414-7574, amagicalexperience@live.com South Atlantic: FL AL GA MS NC SC Debbie Leifer (404) 630-1120 debbie@debbieleifer.com Central Plains: KY TN OH IN MI Jania Taylor, (231)242-8242, magicjat@bright.net Midwest: IL MN WI MO ND NE KS SD IA Jeff Sikora, 13023 Crown Point Ave., Omaha, NE 68164 (402)-339-6726, jqmagic@cox.net South Cental States: TX AR OK NM LA Jeff Lanes, (713)850-1770, jeffie@texasfilm.net Southwest: CA AZ NV HI John Shryock III (520) 885-7999 shryockmagic@gmail.com Northwest: WA OR UT ID CO AK WY MT Michael Roth, (503)493-8316, msr@nwresources.com Canada Rod Chow (604) 669-7777 rod@jackchow.com Society of Young Magicians Director Jann Wherry Goodsell, 329 West 1750 North, Orem, Utah 84057 (801) 376-0353. bravesjann@comcast.net

Living Past National Presidents

Bradley M. Jacobs, Richard L. Gustafson, Roy A. Snyder, Bruce W. Fletcher, James E. Zachary, Frank W. Dailey, Cesareo Pelaez, David R. Goodsell, Robert A. Steiner, Fr. Cyprian Murray, Michael D. Douglass, George Schindler, Dan Rodriguez, Dan Garrett, Donald F. Oltz Jr., Craig Dickson, Loren C. Lind, Gary D. Hughes, Harry Monti, Jann Wherry Goodsell, Warren J. Kaps, Ed Thomas, Jay Gorham, John Apperson, Richard M. Dooley, Andy Dallas, Maria Ibez, Bruce Kalver, Mike Miller, Mark Weidhaas.

OCTOBER 2011 9

Society of American Magicians Monthly News
OCTOBER 2011 Volume 101, Number 5

GO TO: and use the easy submission form to file your report



some old friends visit the Magic Table this month. Seymour Hittner was there with his significant other, as well as Past President Marvin Putterman. It was nice time to catch up and share some magic. This made it ten people two weeks in a row at the Table. They joined the regulars, PP Jerry Oppenheimer and his wife Lee, myself, Secretary Pat Colby, and Board Members Jordan Linker, Rene Clement, and Richard Bossong. The Table meets Fridays from 12:30 on for lunch at the Edison Hotel Caf on 47th Street between 7th and 8th Avenue in Times Square. We had our summer organizational board meeting in August and Pat Colby was elected Chairman of the Board. Our first meeting of the year will be held on September 7, which is a Wednesday. We do not meet in July and August. Our workshops, though, are still going on. George Silverman had another strong one this week. It was the second of a series: The Tricks That Cannot Be Explained equivoque, multiple outs, verbal control, and opportunistic magic. This is my last report from PA 1 because I am switching hats to do work that is needed in our archive. I have enjoyed this and will miss writing about our members.Tom Klem Parent Assembly Number One meets the first Friday of the month at 7:15 on the Mount Sinai Campus in the Goldwurn Auditorium, 1425 Madison Avenue, NYC www.sampa1.com


SAN FRANCISCO, CA Veiled by coastal fog, friends of magic met to enjoy camaraderie infused with delightful wonder. Our activities began when Tamaka showed a Karrell Fox act from Don Alans Magic Ranch TV series. Karrells humorous yet subtle routines set the mood for the evening. For the second part of the activities, Stu Bacon presented a teach-in based on routines from a Martin Lewis DVD. Like Martin, Stu performed an effect and then demonstrated the workings before describing the construction of each prop. The routines included Vanishing Coke Bottle,Big Switch, and Halve-It. Tonights theme for the members magic performances centered on silks, flags, and handkerchiefs. Bill Langdell was first up with an imaginative version of the torn and restored bill. Using a five-dollar bill, he squeezed it, pulling out multicolored threads embedded in the paper and in the process destroying it. Bill then restored the threads, rejuvenating the bill. Hippo Lau first deftly predicted a card selected through random procedure involving five mages. Next he caused a chosen card to rise from the deck that had been placed in an envelope. Daryl inspired these two effects. Hippo then explained the workings. With a foxy demeanor, Jack Langdell entertained with his invisible silk that he made visible and invisible again. The finale occurred when the silk became visible and changed color from red to green to yellow. Ed Arce dazzled us with his rope and handkerchief routine. Tying them together, he easily


separated them. Taping forefinger and thumb together, Rich Seguine linked a looped chain between them, and then released it. Honoring Ted Lesley, Rich, with a wave of his hand, bent a wine glass sitting on several books. Vanishing a signed coin, Rob Shapiro transported it into a small box contained within several larger boxes. Stu charmed with his rendition of a Rachel Colombini effect using silks, three cups, and cards.

Police Station, 2345 24th Ave., San Francisco. Contact: Tamaka, 415-531-9332, Tamaka3715@ aol.com


Bill Langdell performs the torn-restored bill

Walt Johnson demonstrated that a large towel can be a magicians carrying case and table. After combing his hair, Walt discovered that the comb stuck to his hand and was difficult to remove. No doubt, his mind power had energized the comb. Brian Quan enthralled us with several coin flourishes before relating the story of his proposal to his wife. With sleight of hand he had transformed her wish into a floating rose that became an engagement ring. Dan Sneider assisted with several effects, including the chocolate chip cookie vanish. John Caris Golden Gate Assembly 2 meets first Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Community Room of Taraval

CHicaGO, IL We had a nice mini-lecture on Street Magic from John Morrissy for our June meeting. He asked, why do it? The answer was money pitching, selling items, shows, being able to practice routines over and over in front of real audiences. Starting out with linking rings is good; it makes noise and brings in an audience. You need good chatter to bring people over to you. John has an easy set up, just a top hat on a stand. John pulls what he needs for an entire show out of that hat! He called Nathans sister, Mina Colwell, up for the Hat Tear. Then he called Nathan Colwell up for another paper tear routine; this one looked like a pair of blue shorts but was really a pirate hat! John next did some pasteboard prestidigitation. He did the Six Card Repeat, but used twentyone cards in all, so he could drop a bunch and still put some into his top hat. Bank Night was fun as John called up Mina, Chuck Gekas, Nathan, and Frankini Glab, lined them up to each select a numbered envelope,

Bank Night with Mina & Nathan Colwell, Chuck, and Frankini lined up to take envelopes from John Morrissy

OCTOBER 2011 11

with one having a twenty-dollar bill inside, There was a lot of byplay on this one, asking if they wanted to switch. John ended up with the twenty. Each of the participants was given a magic CD that John has put together. Interspersed with the routines were stories of area magicians John has known and worked with in hisover fifty years in magic. One can sign up for his e-newsletters at www.johnmorrissy.com. A Very fascinating evening! Darlene Bull Werner F. Dornfield Assembly #3 of Chicago meets fourth Monday at 7:30 pm, at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake Street (near the corner of Lake and Ridgeland), Oak Park, IL. Doors open at 7 pm. Contact Darlene Bull 815-722-4380 dfbull@joliet.lib.il.us Ace trick. Andy London was able to pull four Kings out in a row several times after shuffling the deck and dividing it into four piles. Joe Harsanyi did a nifty ball routine. Jeff Elineclosed with a prediction effect. Rudy Jackson Always looking for visitors and new members in the greater Baltimore area. We meet each first Thursday @ 8:00 pm. The Magic Warehouse- 11419 Cronridge Drive suite #10, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117 (410-561-0777).

BalTiMORE, MD Our president, Jeff Eline, has designed and installed a new Web site for our local assembly. It is beautiful. Special congratulations to Jeff for a job well done. Please take time to check it out: www.baltimoresam. com. Andy London, our vice president, suggested having a magic auction and extending it to other local magic clubs. We also discussed doing a benefit show for the community. Our magic meeting started out with Eddie Robinette using two volunteers and two decks of cards. After several moves he was able to have both helpers end up with the same matching cardson top. Next up was Eric Hoffman who amazed us with a unique set of blocks and special box. He was able to lock all the blocks inside with a pin and magically released selected blocks at will. Ralph Fowler had several signed cards from two volunteers inserted into two envelopes. Magically he transported three signed cards from one envelope to another. Oniel Banks did a wonderful trick with ESPcards. Charles Covington did several three ball and pot routines. Joe Bruno amazed us with a paper bag and jumbo playing cards routine. Howard Katz, using a glass and four coins, did a wonderful Matrix routine. Les Albert did a nice two copper/two silver routine. He transported all the coins several times. Les followed up with a fantastic four


OMaHa, NE The August meeting of the Omaha Magical Society took place at Boystown, Nebraska, where an audience of almost seventy experienced some of the many talents of locally grown magicians. This potluck picnic has become an annual event where special guests are invited from Boystown (yes, there are girls there) free of charge. The lineup included chicken, many different salads, and selected homemade recipes to deck out the smorgasbord. Our vice president, Bob Gehringer, coordinated the festivities from the start. He gave way to Jeff Sikora, our masterful master of ceremonies, who sprinkled his performance with magical interludes. The lineup of magicians started with our Dean, Walter Graham, who unrolled his unique brand of humor and magic. He always puts audiences in a good mood. Next up was Johnny Impossible Sheibal with an amazing feat of legerdemain, followed by Bob Charleston from Sioux Center, Iowa, with a mentalism effect, and finally Pete Petrashek, who baffled us with his fuzzy balls on a stick. Jeff kept the show running smoothly and closed the show with his grand finale. At the end one could see cotton candy flying as our guests lined up for one last tasty treat! Jerry Golmanavich Omaha Magical Society Assembly 7 meets on the third Monday of most months at the Southwest Church of Christ 124th St. and W. Center Rd. Across from Hooters. Contact Larry Brodahl: golubki@cox. net (402) 390-9834 www.omahamagicalsociety.com


Dallas, TX The August meeting conflicted with a little event called Magic Live, but that didnt stop magicians in Dallas from having a good time. President Mike Smith called the meeting to order, and Sgt. at Arms Derrel Allen doubled up as acting secretary while the other officers were off in Las Vegas. A number of guests attended the meeting, including Richard Schmidt, Tanner Perdue, Christian Brewer, and Mitch Rogers. The nights theme was Back to School, so Erich Knight focused his teach-a-trick session on magic performed with school supplies. Open stage time involved a demonstration of a political nature as Geoff Doc Grimes presented the tale of a card trick he was able to perform for the Speaker of the House in D.C. earlier this year.





Johnny Tophatz surprises Doc Grimes

The formal show of the evening was hosted by emcee Derrel Allen. Johnny Tophatz performed, concluding with the transformation of a paper flower into a real flower in a flash. Brian ONeill performed a mental effect. Brian asked a spectator to merely think of a card and then to picture the card as if it were in front of him. Just by reading the eye movements of the spectator, Brian correctly named the card. Mr. Goodfriend followed with a rope on ring effect, and Aaron Maynard closed out the evening with two effects, including a floating table. Dallas Magic Club Assembly #13 meets the third Tuesday of each Month at 7 p.m. Crosspointe Church and Community Center. Go to:www.dallasmagic.org for directions. Check out the Dallas Magic Club on Facebook!

HOUsTOn, TX Scott Hollingsworth, Military Program Liaison for the S.A.M., is involved with a program to encourage magicians in the military forces. Scott is also working on a new program designed to set up magic performances at veterans hospitals. Scott will be looking to the Houston clubs for support in this area and will keep us updated. Scott also updated us on the S.Y.M. status and the fact that there were eight potential new members who were showing up at the meetings. Ben Jackson and Michael & Jessica were recent winners at the S.A.M. national convention, allowing them to perform as a contestant at FISM in 2012. Congratulations to these three local magicians for their fine efforts. Scott Wells received an S.A.M. Presidential Citation at the Pittsburgh convention. Scott has done much to promote magic; we are very proud of him for having received this very prestigious award. Alex Rangel was our last minute mini-lecturer; he educated us on podcasts and a variety of other social media tools. Scott Wells also shared some of his knowledge of the social media craze and where his involvement has led him. Lots of information was shared and some good questions were asked. Thanks both to Alex and Scott for sharing this with the group. Scott Wells led the performance session with the help of Rick Hebert. Scott mentioned that he would show us the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Scott had Rick shuffle a deck of cards face up into face down. Using Ricks choice of face up or face down, and which side of the deck to begin, Rick culled the first six face-up cards he came to. The value of the pips was then totaled, giving 42. Asking Anthony Dinardo to type in the phrase the answer to life, the universe and everything into a Google search resulted in the number 42 as the answer. Alex Rangel had Rick Hebert help out as several hands of blackjack were dealt out. Alex showed us how to stack the deck and essentially make whatever winning hand at whatever place

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he wanted. It was an interesting display and rather entertaining. Anthony Dinardo found Randys chosen card even though the deck was thoroughly shuffled. Thanks to all who shared their magic with us in August. Miles Root SAM 19 meets the first Monday of every month at the IATSE Local 51 Meeting Hall, 3030 North Freeway, Houston, TX. A teaching lecture begins at 7:30 pm with the meeting beginning at 8:00 pm. placing them over his head and behind his back. Jim Bentley did a cards-acrosslike trick to add three cards to a packet in a spectators hand. Dana T. Ring Meets 2nd Monday except December at Angelos On Main, 289 South Main Street, West Hartford, Connecticut 06107 Dana Ring d.ring222@ att.net (860) 523-9888 www.sam21.org Moore Parish Hall, 2510 So. Fremont Ave., Alhambra, CA Information: 213/382-8504

HaRTfORd, CT Our club VP Jim Bentley presided this month and asked that more attention be given to our efforts to upgrade our monthly newsletter and our club Web site. The respective committees will meet within the month to work out the details. It was announced that on October 27 Dave Garrity and Jim Spinnato will perform a Halloween and Hypnotism show at Angelos restaurant in West Hartford. Dan Sclare announced that there were a handful of scarves left over from a recent tag sale and reasonable offers



Norman St. Laurent and wind-up friend

were to be entertained. The magical theme for this month was Anything Goes. Since it is summer, the rules are relaxed a bit. Norman St. Laurent had a card selected and then found it using a wind-up squirrel he got at Borders. Norman says the toy resembles that weird squirrel-rat character from the Ice Age films. Pat Guida noted that the last time he went into Borders, all the books were open to Chapter 7. Dan Sclare showed two ropes and linked them by first

LOs AnGElEs. CA At the August meeting, the newly elected president of the Southern California Assembly, Jim Callen, quickly dispatched the routine business of Assembly 22. Members and guests were eager to move quickly to the program for the evening, a lecture by Suds. Ted Suds Sudbrack has been a Los Angeles area professional entertainer for well over forty years, a member of all major magic clubs, and much beloved in the Southern California magic community. As a member of Assembly 22, Suds is very active participating in performances; on this evening he provided the entire program. Suds lecture, as expected, was full of gags and the humor which is his signature performance style. By count, Suds performed over thirty effects and gag items. Being a magic dealer of long standing, most of the items were available for purchase. Many of the effects performed were invented and manufactured by Suds. Sudss comedy torn and restored tissue paper effects have become classics in magic. Another effect marketed by Suds in the mid-1970s and much copied by other dealers is Whats New, a cloth bag (that can hold small items to be vanished) that changes to a large silk foulard in an instant. It was a great lecture, very entertaining, and another fine evening of Assembly 22 magic. As always, an intermission during the performance was highlighted by the buffet of foods and treats provided by Corrine Murphy. For September, Assembly president Callen has arranged a program of magic from M-U-M. Southern California Assembly 22 meets the 3rd Monday each month at 8:00 P.M., St. Thomas



CaPiTal REGiOn, NY After we unfortunately had to cancel our July meeting, we held a rare August meeting, with a theme of money magic. Klem Kinicut started the night with a fun balancing coin bit. Dave McDonald followed with an amazing card trick and some new iPhone app magic. Ace Russo presented a great Card Warp routine with a bill and card. The great Carabini amazed us with a bill change and classic Color Monte. Our local president, Joe Goode, closed with a penny to dime and a coin nesting box. See everyone next month! Cory Haines Jay Gorham Assembly 24 meets at the S.W. Pitts Hose Co., Latham, NY on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Cory Haines coryhainesmagic@ yahoo.com (518) 426-8993 www. sam24.org



one-year membership to the club. Chris Natale C. Foster Fenner, Assembly 26 meets first Tuesday each month from September to June at 7 pm. American Legion Auburn Post 20, 7 Legion Way, Cranston, RI.

PROVidEncE, RI The club recently held our annual magic contest. With Bob Boardman running the show, the contest ran smoothly from start to finish. In Bobs own words, All the acts were great, and, of course, everyone had a great time. Third place winner Jeff Smith is always a favorite, each year presenting something new. This year Jeff performed some nice card manipulations, which were well received by the audience. Sean Dale was awarded second place for his sponge ball manipulation. Sean has a great stage presence and a great sense of humor. First place winner Andrew Cipolla performed a colorful routine, producing umbrellas and silks. For a young man, Andrew has already developed a keen sense of showmanship. At the end of the evening, gift certificates from Diamonds Magic were handed out to the top three performers. Honorable mentions were awarded to Daniel Cipolla and Tom Holmes. And the coveted Peoples Choice award went to Andrew Cipolla, who was awarded a free,



September 27, 2010, meeting was our auction. Our October 25, 2010, meeting was held at President Peter Melillos home. Peters spooky downstairs room was decked out with a talking mummy and a secret sliding bookcase. An official S.A.M. Initiation Ritual, led by Joe Lantiere, was presented. After the ceremony, members performed close-up magic, and then Sandy Rhoades did his famous Swamp Water Card Trick. Finally, Joe Lantiere gave a workshop on The Gypsys Curse. On November 22, 2010, we had our Annual Holiday Party. Joe Lantiere produced some seasonal silks. Assembly Secretary Daniel Greenwolf performed the death-defying Soda Straw Bullet Catch. Steve Gibson performed the Improved Color Vision Box and CJ May performed The Wizards Trick, in which a small block of wood escaped by the power of the wind. We had no December 2010 meeting. At our January 24, 2011, meeting CJ May entertained us as Cyril the Sorcerer by performing a trio of effects including The Rising Twig, BWave, and the Linking Rings. Our February 28 meeting was cancelled because of bad weather. Our March 28, 2011 meeting was our auction. Our April 25, 2011, meeting featured our Vice President Sandy Rhoades, who gave a lecture on finding magic, magical items, and materials at Flea Markets and Tag Sales. It was a great lecture!




Assembly 29 Dean Joe Lantiere led the S.A.M. Initiation Ceremony in October 2010

OCTOBER 2011 13

At our May 23, 2011, meeting, the theme was Card Magic. Our June 27, 2011, meeting was our annual picnic. A big thank you to Nelson and Carole Nicholson for the use of their home, and we thank Sandy Rhodes for cooking and organizing the picnic. Sandy Rhoades started off by performing Dukes DyeVersion, with the rolled-up tube revelation of wishing Assembly 29 member and Sgt-at-Arms Tony Feliciano a happy fiftieth birthday. Sandy Rhoades then performed his Chair Suspension on Marie Padillas daughter Gabrielle. Many other members then performed close-up magic. The July 25, 2011, meeting performers were Jim Sisti, Tony Feliciano, Peter Melillo, Joe Lantiere, and Tony Lenti. After meeting themes for the balance of 2011 include: October 24 Spooky Magic or Mentalism; November 28 Holiday Party. There will be no meeting in December. If you miss our meetings, you are missing a lot. And guests are always welcome at Assembly 29.Joe Lantiere S.A.M. Harry Houdini Assembly #29 meets at the Salem Lutheran Church in Naugatuck, CT on the fourth Monday of every month, but does not meet in December. He brought out a brass box and the coin transported from under the cover into the box. Jim Driscoll showed us how you could tell if someone was bluffing at poker. He would look for a tell and eliminate cards after asking questions until he had the selected card, as well as the four Aces. Merritt Ambrose finished the evening with his cups and balls routine, and then began his Professional Development presentation on cups and balls. He illustrated different types of cups, how to load a ball and hold a ball under the cup, stealing a ball from under a cup, passing one cup through the other, and final loads with various methods of loading. Since I was remiss on sending a report in July, I must mention the Professional Development we had that month. Dan Garrett presented Rubber Band Magic. Dan showed us how to make rubber bands jump from one finger to the next, Crazy Mans Handcuffs, and some of Dan Harlans magic with bands and bills, vanishes, and down the ladder. Dan also showed us the Boomerang rubber band and Joe Rindfleshs Jumper. It was very well received and got lots of comments about what fun it was. Carol Garrett Atlanta Society of Magicians, Julian V. Boehme/Walter S. Bell Assembly #30 Web site: http:// www.sam30atlanta.org meets the second Thursday at Picadilly Cafeteria, I-85 & North Druid Hills Rd. riously jumped from one hand to the other both in Jims hands and an audience members hand. Ultimately, the lady and gentleman rabbit ended up together in the spectators hands. What happened next cannot be described in a family magazine. Suffice it to say that the result was multiple little rabbits. Then Taylor Martin did a beautiful job with Al Goshmans And Then There Were Four. He followed up with multiple surprises as shapes changed, colors changed, and a cube became a dog. He credited Hank Lee for that one. As a finale, Taylor performed his Gloved Sponge Ball routine that he has been developing over the years. We all were amazed. Taylor interspersed his magic with very helpful teaching tidbits, such as make your sponges a little moist. They will look and perform better. He also demonstrated the preparation and use of the Sanada gimmick. Chris Henderson closed the evening performance with a surprising and funny effect. The Two of Clubs was randomly selected and returned to the deck. After a shuffle and a few cuts, Chris then announced that he would find the card, which was unknown to him. With a flourish he produced the Four of Clubs. Close, but two pips too many. Bummer! He got out his instructions and looked them over. With a thump to the card, two sponge Clubs fell out from the card! Lo and behold, he really did end up with the selected Two of Clubs. SAM #31 meets the first Monday of the month unless there is a conflict with a holiday weekend. At this point in time, SAM #31 is rotating its meetings &:00 PM among three separate sites. Contact President Steve Spence for information regarding the current months meeting. sspence@mediationalternative. com. knows what happened at the Fitchett Dairy forty years ago). Over a dozen members and their families enjoyed a great afternoon of magic, food, fun, and no rain. Joel Zaritsky and his family once again hosted this fantastic event. Fun was definitely the theme of the day. Why else would Frank Monaco and his wife Barbara spend hours counting over two thousand jelly beans for a contest? Of course there was plenty of magic to entertain attendees. Joel turned his living room into a theater and performed. President Derrin Berger hosted a riotous game of Joel-Pardy, in which assembly members like Roger Lewin were tested on their knowledge of magic and the obvious and peculiar things that popped into Derrins head. It wouldnt be an Al Baker Assembly gathering without Ed Fitchett, who treated us to a couple classics. Guests of Eds, Matt Mann and his family, visited all the way from Thailand. They got into the spirit of things and performed as well. Frank Monaco displayed an effect hes working on much to the delight of assistant Clare Kunaschk. Long time members Marty Steinberg, Sam Patton and Terry Morgan showed us a few of their favorites. Everybody impersonated their favorite magician and made food disappear. Several hours after the party began things were still going strong and mini sessions broke out throughout the house. Thanks to all who spent time preparing the many fabulous dishes and who attended this great afternoon. Special thanks go to Master-of-the-Grill Joel Zaritsky and his family for once again hosting this fabulous event. Craig Kunaschk Al Baker Assembly No. 35 (usually) meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the Milanese Italian Restaurant, 115 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, NY. Check out our website to confirm time and meeting location. www. compumagic.com/sam35

ATlanTa, GA Our emcee Debbie Leifer hosted the postdinner performance. Rick Hinze began the evening with a trick you cant do at the airport: color changing knives. Dan Garrett presented a card trick in which the cards were picked up randomly, yet he still predicted the cards on top of the piles. It astonished everyone! Jim Mangham illustrated an effect from the July 2011 Genii magazine that incorporated cowboy movies. He had three spectators come up and choose names and hats. He then gave them three buttons, two white and one black. Those who had while buttons lied; he was able to root out the guy with the black button. Lynch em, Jim! Gene Hendrix did a three card monte, followed by Darell Berman. Darell gave a spectator a group of cards and asked him to remember one. He then used static electricity to find the right card. He also had a quarter signed and placed under cover.



IndianaPOlis, IN The theme was sponge balls. The evening was fun with much creativity on display. Our Master of Ceremonies was Jim Croop. As usual, he did a superb job, not only in leading the discussion and introducing the performers, but also leading off with Daryls Papa Rabbit Hits the Big Time sponge routine. First he produced a rabbit from his hands at the audiences request. And then to show it was possible, he produced a bird. A rabbit in one hand. A bird in the other. They magically traded places. But was it magic? No just an illusion as sponges could be either a rabbit or a bird. He introduced the two rabbits as the lady and the gentleman rabbit. They myste-





Al Baker Assemby 35 August meeting. If your Jeopardystyle response was What was the best magic barbeque ever? youre a winner and obviously made it to our August meeting. Our annual event was our bestattended barbeque ever (well at least for the last decade who



NEW ORlEans, LA Eddie Adams did an optical illusion that involved measuring plates on a table. Eddie did not remember the M-U-M issue it was in. Augie Garofalo performed a very big



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silver dollar to penny transportation, ending with the penny was being big. The was in the March 2011 M-U-M. Thomas Maxwell performed a ring off shoe string routine with a McGiver presentation that I really enjoyed. It was from the November 2010 M-U-M. Dr. Joe Dalgo performed Ken Krenzels Spell of the Spectator from the September 2009 M-U-M. Milton Scheuermann did ring off string with a gypsy presentation from the November 2010 M-U-M. JOJO Strauch did the rubber band effects from the July 2011 M-U-M. Guests did not have to follow the theme. Taylor Galyean showed a rising card app with a phone. Ricardo Delapuente did a pencil through rubber band effect. Both guests performed to show their interest in magic. After performing at two or three meetings we will vote them into our club. They are both very enthusiastic and are willing to perform. They would be an asset to our club. Magician of the year contest votes for this month: Milton, second place; Augie, third place; Dr. Joe and Eddie, tied for first place. Joe (JOJO) Strauch We meet the second Wednesday of Each month at 7:30 at the Holiday Inn on Causeway in Metairie, La. You can see all the details at www.samnola.com Doug Henning before he hit the big time and now owns several of Dougs illusions, including a Crystal Casket. Chris assembled the illusion in front of the membership and then demonstrated (without the cover on) how it worked in performance. Gene Gordon took things in a different direction by presenting the packs small plays big aspect of stage magic. To this end Gene taught the Tarbell version of 20th Century Silks. Madeleine Restaurant. President Joe Libby called the meeting to order. We had over thirty people in attendance. Congratulations to Matthew Legare and Jason Parker, who are now members of Assembly 52. Welcome to guests Jody Robbins, Nick Garcia, Amy Legare, and all of the young magicians and their parents. The theme for this meeting was Magic with Silks. Joe Libby began by performing a vanishing silk routine with a million dollar bill, followed by Sal Manfredo, who did his version of a silk monkey bar and a change bag routine in which he turned black and white silks into a white silk with a skull and crossbones design. Guest Jody Robbins entertained the young magicians with a Coin through Silk routine and Don Moravits put smiles on all of our faces when he performed an effect by Vanni Pule called Half-Dyed Hank; his presentation was set to poetry. Ray Adams was next, and told us about his pet cat that he had in a paper bag, but what surprised us the most was when guinea pigs popped out of a cage and frightened us all. Doug Gorman entertained us with the American Flag Blendo set to the music America the Beautiful, sung by Ray Charles. New member Matthew Legare tried over and over to tie a knot in his red silk with his right hand, but finally figured out that he had a left-handed silk. John Dahlinger performed his restaurant set, which consisted of coins and cards, in preparation for his trip to the Kostya Kimlet Magic Workshop. Young magician, Jenna Takach, wowed us by magically knotting a red silk, and Michael Tallon produced a deck of cards from under a silk scarf and then performed an effect by Paul Harris called Overkill. Paul Amerson, with the help of two young magicians, did the 20th Century Silks routine and Drake Stanton did a quick and visual card trick. After a short business meeting and an open forum, the meeting was adjourned. Brother John Hamman Assembly 52 meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month at La Madeleine Restaurant, located at 722 N.W. Loop 410. The restaurant is inside Loop 410 on the access road between Blanco Rd. and San Pedro. For more information, contact douggorman@ att.net.

Stage Magic Teach-In

DEnVER, CO On July 17 members of The Mile High Magicians Society gathered for their annual picnic at Brent Warrens (aka Doc Murdock) legendary KnomeDome, near the mountain town of Nederland. What a great change of pace it was to have our picnic in the mountains this year. The weather was wonderful, with moderate temperatures; we even avoided the major hail storm in nearby Nederland. It is inevitable that with a group of magicians a deck of cards will soon come out and with it a magic show. August brought teach-in number three, dealing with stage magic. President Connie Elstun had the idea of creating a meeting to increase members appreciation of the large amount of work that goes into a large scale production. Acting as emcee, Connie first introduced Chris Manos. Chris was a personal friend of



Gene was a hard act to follow, but Kier Royale was more then up to the task, delivering a well thought out and interesting PowerPoint presentation on working with an assistant. He demonstrated how backstage organization is the key to a smooth operation. Connie Elstun says, If you cant lift a hundred pounds over your head while standing on a basketball, illusions are probably not for you. To help demonstrate, a number of members participated in setting up and practicing Connies sword levitation. Yikes! Dave Elstun brought it all together with a discussion of routining, featuring an examination of Jeff McBrides opening routine in Las Vegas. Dave also discussed the importance of scripting and direction.Dave Elstun SAM Assembly 37 is The Mile High Magicians Society and meets on the 2nd Thursday at 7:00 P.M. in the RiverPointe Senior Community, 5225 South Prince St. Denver, CO 80123. Our Website is www.milehighmagicians.com. Connie Elstun is the President her E-mail address is connie@emagicpro.com

WEsTERVillE, OH The July meeting was held at the Westerville Public Library in Westerville, Ohio. After a brief business meeting,Terry Harrisshowed us how to do a six-coin Misers Dream from your pocket. If you can carry six coins in your pocket, you are alwaysprepared when asked that special question, Show me a magic trick. Keeping with the money theme, we watched Terrysvideo presentation on the Money-making Machine. We learned the history of the machine and the various models used to produce a dollar bill. Some of the antique moneymakers are quite valuable and worth the investment if you can find one. After the lecture, Steve Berger showed us a clever card effect in which the Queens were found upside-down in the deck. Joe Elliott performed TheProfessors Nightmarewith three pieces of rope that looked like magic wands. Dave Brizius showed us a disappearing quarter. Reza the Magi caused the Three of Spades to jumpfroma card box and into a plastic box that was sitting on the table. Steve Berger pulled the Clubs out ofa deck and placed them on the table in random order. He picked up the Clubs, shuffled them, andput them on the table face down. The cards were turned over and they were in Ace to King sequence. After the meeting we shared more magic,and left the library before they locked the doors. Steven Parlette U.F. Grant Assembly 83 Meets the first Thursday of the month at 7:00 at the Westerville Public LIbrary, 126 South State Street, Westerville, Ohio. For more information contact: sparlette@att. net or go to: www.ring7sam83. org



SAN ANTONIO, TX On August 4, 2011, Brother John Hamman Assembly 52 held its monthly meeting at La



a picnic, with rain off and on; the grass was wet! Good thing we held our Annual Corn Roast at Faith Lutheran Church (our regular meeting place) this year so we could come in out of the rain. Our members also had the

Ann ARbOR/YPsilanTi, MI It was not the best day for



OCTOBER 2011 15

pleasure of some of the congregation as an audience. Im not sure if it was the weather or not, but not many of our members showed up; they really missed a great time. Good food, fellowship, and an audience of mostly lay-people, what more could you ask for. Now for the magic: Tony Saputo started out with a routine with the Stoplight Balls, Dan Jones did the Pom-Pom Sticks, Angelina Placido had a cute Professors Nightmare routine (about a noodle maker), Angelina father, Jim, did his famous rope with no ends trick. was the upcoming Kutztown Convention. The line-up is almost finalized; the convention is always the second Saturday in November. Rev. Michael Reist (The Amazing Magi) reported that the benefit magic show for Habitat for Humanity held May 7 raised $3,015; over its four-year history we have raised over $10,000. The clubs next major benefit show, the annual Alexs Lemonade program Magic for Miracles is being held on Sunday, September 18. Further good and welfare included shows coming up in the Tri-State area, reports on the health of members families, and a big welcome back after surgery for member Bob Remaly. Finally, Rev. Reist discussed his week at the annual Kidabra Convention, including the wonderful show in Pigeon Forge by Terry Evanswood. Now on to the magic: First up was Rev. Mike, who did a routine with a GI Joe, patriotic music, and cards, a routine he is developing for his family and patriotic shows. Next up was Todd Kent, who did a very entertaining version of Bank Night he is developing. Dan Munsell followed with an entertaining ESP Prediction and then a blindfolded prediction. Ryan Adamowicz did a fine Matrix routine, and last, but certainly not least, Bob Remaly closed out the magic with a one-dollar card trick utilizing a variation of the Tree of Hearts routine. Michael L. Reist Assembly 92 Meets at the Mingus Magic Shop on the third Monday of the Month at 7:00 PM. Phil Ackerly started the formal performing portion of the meeting witha routine from his summer library shows, using Russian nesting dolls, some ladies rings, and a charming story. Hugh McDonald performed a Cups and Balls routine with two cups (and his beard, of course). John Jones demonstrated his lie-detecting ability using a deck of cards and a typically honest spectator. Alan Leeds presented a very funny rope routine. Kim Silverman did a three-phase card routine in which he repeatedly matched or predicted spectators chosen cards. Phil Ackerly finished the night with another of his current routines, using a rope and a vase. If that makes you think of a Prayer Vase, youre partly right. In the last couple of months, Assembly 94 has sponsored a couple of great lectures for our members and the Bay Area magic community. In May, Eugene Burger presented a lecture and a special smallgroup workshop. Paul Draper provided two workshops, as well as a lecture that started with a short show. A while back, our assembly president, Kim Silverman, gave a pretty terrific presentation on Making Magic Meaningfulat a TEDx event in San Jose. To see a video of this presentation, go to http://tinyurl.com/3jjtpd7 Joe Caffall, Secretary Assembly 94 meets at 7:30 PM on the second Monday of each month. At this time, our meeting location varies from month to month. Email jocaff@pacbell. net for current info. Meetings are preceded by a Learners Workshop at 6:30. to the audiences delight. Rod Chow was appointed by National President Mark Weidhaas to be RVP for Canada. At the end of July the Vancouver Magic Circle (VMC) became host for the combined 2011 Pacific Coast Association of Magicians (PCAM) and Canadian Association of Magicians (CAM) Conference held in Coquitlam, BC, led by PCAM and incoming CAM president, Shawn Farquhar. Assembly 95 was again the presenter of their famous One Hand Cut-A-Thon. Assembly secretary Rod Chow hosted this event together with guest host, five-time OHCAT champion Eric Bedard from Victoria. Assembly President Lon Mandrake chaired the judging, together with head judge, Ed Silva White and Assembly 95 judges Dennis Hewson and Jens Henriksen. Winners of this fun contest of prizes and certificates were Daniel Zach, Glen LaBarre, and Shawn Farquhar. Daniel also won the Crowds Choice award. In the PCAM contests, Nicholas Chow, Jack Chow, and Rod Chow each won Gold Medals. In the CAM contest, Henry Tom won the Peoples Choice Close-Up Trophy. Shawn Farquhar was officially inducted as the new CAM president outgoing president Joan Caesar. The final event of the convention was the Bag-O-Tricks contest co-hosted by David Wilson and Shawn Farquhar. Glen LaBarre won second place with a very creative routine. Rod Chow was the hotel stage manager, and had the privilege of introducing the lecturers throughout the convention. Dennis Hewson was assistant stage manager and Jack and Nicholas Chow were the sound and light technicians. Thanks go out to professional stage manager Steve Kline for his experienced guidance; he ran the fabulous theater shows without a hitch. Thanks also to all the VMC and Assembly 95

Randy Smith with three volunteers

Marvin Mathena had a nice trick called The Sands of Time, in which a chosen card appears out of the bottom of some sand. I brought a couple of Gospel magic tricks, the King of Hearts and Daniel and the Lions (a rope trick in which Daniel escapes the lions). Gordon Schott did the very funny Die to Hat trick. Finally, Bill Brang performed the Dream Bag and the Color Changing Wreaths. We had a lot of fun and laughs. Dont let the rain spoil your day, move inside where its warm and dry! Randy A. Smith Hank Moorehouse Assembly 88 meets second Wednesday at 7PM Faith Lutheran Church, 1255 E Forest Ave, Ypsilanti, MI. Randy A. Smith, Phone:313562-3875. Email randy.remarkable@gmail.com or visit www. aamagic.org for more details.



REadinG, PA Present were members Tony Bialy, Dan Munsell, Ryan Parsons, Michael Reist, Todd Kent, Harold Guinther, Ryan Adamowicz, and Robert Remaly. A moment of silence was held and the treasurers report was given.The only major old business discussed



SilicOn VallEy, CA Our August meetingwas preceded bya Learners Workshop on a version ofRosinis Double Reverse, taught by Kim Silvermanwith permission from Eugene Burger. The main meeting began with a discussion of equivoque, led by Ken Gielow. Ken provided notes andillustrated applications of the technique with performance clips from Max Mavens Multiplicity. Stan Sielerconcluded the discussion with anexample of using equivoque together with outsby performing BWave.

Assembly 95 takes a break from regular meetings during the summer, so this is a combined July and August 2011 news report. Several Assembly 95 members recently returned from the S.A.M. national conference in Pittsburgh. This year the S.A.M. Contest of Magic was also the first ever FISM North American Championships of Magic. Henry Tom and Rod Chow were proud to have been selected through the screening process to be able to compete in this prestigious contest, and both performed well

VancOUVER, Canada



2011 Award Winners from left: Rod, Nicholas & Jack Chow + Henry Tom

16 M-U-M Magazine

members who contributed as hosts. Special thanks go out to the Farquhars, Shawn, Lori and Hannah, for putting on such a wonderful convention. The day after the convention was the annual VMC picnic. New contest chair, Henry Tom, hosted the unopened deck competition. Congratulations to Lon Mandrake who won the huge trophy with a very baffling card routine, with Henry Tom coming in second. Rod Chow The Carl Hemeon Assembly No. 95 meets the first Tuesday of each month at members homes. Rod Chow rod@rodchow.com (604) 669-7777 www.sam95. com

SOMERsET, PA We have had a busy schedule the past several months. In June the adults performed for a benefit for a new Arts Center that was opened by the parents of one of our S.Y.M. members. A nice crowd was on hand to see the magic of members Gary Weimer, Dody-Jane Svetahor, Derek Robey, Louis Paul, and Dan Miller. Some of the highlights were Garys egg bag routine, Louiss snake basket, Dereks haunted hndkerchief, Dans ring in gumball effect, and the entertaining emcee Dody-Jane with several effects with her huge wand. In July the youth and adults had a family picnic. Louis Paul was the emcee with his amazing talking monkey. The young magicians performing were John Bammen with a card trick, Aaron Trulick with his change bag, and Brandon Benford with his Dlites. Gary Weimer, Dody-Jane Svetahor, and Dan Miller performed some of their new magical purchases from the S.A.M. national convention. The S.Y.M. youth are preparing for their public Cub Scout show in October. The leaders are working with them in putting a routine together. This will be their second public show within a year. There is some good upcoming talent to keep Assembly 108 alive and well. Dan Miller The James Swoger Assembly #108 meets at 6:00 pm, the third Monday of every month at Wheeler Bros.



COncORd, CA We had a nice crowd of guests and magicians at our July meeting; the theme was Stage Competition. Before the competition, Ray Andrews won this months attendance reward drawing. Ray was also the one entrant for the stage competition; he performed a number of card manipulations and tricks for the audience. Mainly, he produced a bunch of cards out of nowhere. And, as if by magic, he won the contest. Continuing a routine he began last month, Rick Allen began the off-theme magic by performing a sponge-rabbit routine with two sophisticated adults. Last month he had performed a similar routine with two kids. Next, former member Doug Kevilus performed an experiment in mind reading, during which he correctly guessed the cards of four volunteers.


A FUNNy THINg HAPPENEd calls Symbols n Numbers, and which, of course, was created by Bob. The effect is to make a correct prediction using a card with several symbols. Jerry Barrilleaux performed a You-Do-As-I-Do topsy-turvy bottle effect with a guest, who cracked up into hysterical laughter when she could not replicate Jerrys placement of the bottle in the tube. At that point, Douglass the MagicMan pranked a volunteer with spring snakes, then proceeded to perform a McCombical routine with oversized cards. To calm things down, Sam from the S.Y.M. had Roy Porfido select a card, which Sam was able to identify later. Our president, the MagicMan, completed the magic of the night by using a sword to skewer a guest under the guise of providing him with a haircut. Neither the guests hair nor his neck was shortened. Dave Anderson Diablo Assembly #112 meets on the third Wednesday of every month at the Round Table Pizza in Concord. Doug Kovacich douglassthemagicman@ hotmail.com (925) 435-4824 http://sam112.com/ card effects, while Ken Wilson totally befuddled all with his astounding silk routine. Lord Blacksword (Joe Caulfield) spun engrossing tales as he performed his mystical bizarre magic effects.

Lady Blacksword (Kathy Caulfield)

Ray Andrews produces many cards he pulls from nowhere during his winning routine.

Rod McFadden followed with an unusual card effect, the transposition of two selected cards. The surprise ending had one selection found unexpectedly under Rods shoe. Bob Holdridge then made a jumbo card vanish from a large wooden card frame, only to reappear in a previously empty pouch. Visiting magician Hank Morfin got our president to donate a dollar bill for a transportation of the greenback to a Chiclets package, all with Hanks not touching the packet at all. Bob Holdridge followed by pulling out a large version of the Stroop effect before administering the new Stroop Test, in which the volunteer is asked to identify the color and shape in a series of boxes while ignoring the printed words below the shape. Bob then moved on to presentation of the Trick of the Month, which he

NasHUa, NH This August, our assembly was invited to take part in Summerfest 2011 Childrens Day, a state and national award-winning program whose objective is to provide quality entertainment and activities to the families surrounding greater Nashua at no cost to the individuals. Since last years Childrens Day was so well attended, we felt that this would be a wonderful opportunity to generate interest in the art of magic and possibly ignite a spark in a few individuals to inquire about becoming members of our assembly. Crowds gathered continuously at our table in the park and were totally mesmerized by the amazing effects that were performed by members of our assembly. Joey Aces (Tom Andreoli) amazed the crowds with his skill in changing colors of a handful of playing cards and Don Sanborn mystified the crowds with several routines that displayed the prowess he has developed over the years. Josh Heinzl baffled young and old alike with several amazing



On stage, Josh Heinzl penetrated a soda can with a marked coin, much to the amazement of all and Lady Blacksword (Kathy Caulfield) and her amazing mind-reading dog Baxter selected the card that had a picture of his favorite treat while he was blindfolded. The event was well-attended and turned out to be a great chance not only to display the many talents of our assembly, but also to advance, elevate, and preserve magic as a performing art. Ken Wilson Assembly 118 meets at the Nashua Church of Christ, 97 Farley Road, Nashua, NH 03063. Joe Caulfield sam.nashua@ gmail.com (603) 505-8749



WallinGfORd, CT A short NEMCON report was given by Bill Hoagland; he said we are a little behind and we need to meet to get caught up. We had our annual picnic at the Hoaglands house and everyone who attended had a good time. We didnt have a large group for the meeting this month; summers are always light. But most people performed. Our theme was Your Favorite Magic Trick. Chick started us out with a rubber band trick he just learned in M-U-M; we all took a try after he explained it. Dick Hodes did the classic Tree of Hearts his version, very entertaining. Jim did several little things, including Color Monte, and he talked about some of his dice moves. Next, Pat Guida came up and showed us a great card trick; he told us it was in

OCTOBER 2011 17

spectators think of a number that they saw. Taking a blank card, Lanny wrote down two numbers, and, of course, they matched! Lanny then showed a cute silk routine using a change bag with an anti-drug theme for school children. We had a young visitor, Hunter Sandlin, attend for the first time and he wowed us with his mastery with rubber bands. A rubber band that was around his hand jumped up onto a spectators out-stretched hand. Hunter showed several tricks with rubber bands all of which showed that he has been studying! James Alcon had a dollar bill and a pen examined and poked the pen through the bill. To remove the pen, he folded the bill and ripped the pen out. The pen was passed for examination again and the bill was shown to be restored. James showed a Jay Sankey routine that used a drinking straw and wrapper. Removing the wrapper from the straw, a spectator was asked to draw a little stick figure on it. Rolling it into a small ball, it was placed it the end of the straw and lit with a lighter. In a flash of light, the cannonball traveled to his other waiting hand, which now contained the paper. To prove it was the same drawing, it was handed to the spectator who drew it a great little restaurant piece! James Alcon Alcons Gate City Wizards Assembly # 128 meets the last Tuesday of the monthat 1207 Westminster Drive, Greensboro, NC. MAGIC Live and Noelle Paige is performing in Chicago. We held our monthly raffle with over twenty-five magic items up for grabs; thanks to everyone who purchased tickets and/or donated items. Thanks to Betty Broomall and Joan Moody for taking care of the refreshment table and to all who brought the goodies. Thanks to Isaac Brady for taking care of the club library and selling all those raffle tickets and to Nathan, Isaac, and Megan for conducting the raffle. The Theme for the night was Magic Auction bring your magic and auction it off. A few dollars were made; thanks to all who participated. Charles Moody shared with us his color changing sugar packets. Jeremy performed coins across, Billy Countryman showed off his new palm ball, Nathan Nickerson did a new card effect. If you were not there, you missed it! Jeff Sobel showed us a great rings-off-string routine. Dave Kloman finished off the night with his coin off rope. Thanks to all who attended. Bill Metsch The Gulf Coast Magicians Guild Assembly 129 meets the 3rd Thursday of the month at the Bay View Senior Center, Pensacola, Florida. At 6:45 pm. Nathan Nickerson nate@nathannickerson.com (850) 377-8659 www.gulfcoastmagic.com Sharpe performed her qualification act, which was a fortune telling routine; she became the newest member of the Fort Worth Magicians Club. Larry Heil performed his version of Merv Taylors Ultissimo and a number prediction routine with three volunteers. Larry suggested reading the Mental Epic Compendium by Paul Romhany and shared his thoughts on Mental Epic. Mike Ince gave a mini-lecture on Mentalism. Mikes definition of mentalism is the simulation of paranormal abilities. He talked about the various types of mentalism effects, including telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, and precognition. He spoke about the history of mentalism, which has its roots in spiritualism; he also discussed the differences between mentalism and mental magic. We had a discussion about whether a performer doing mentalism should have a disclaimer in their show stating that what they do is not real. Then Mike performed a Q&A routine. Mike suggested for those that want to delve more into Mentalism to check out Corindas 13 Steps to Mentalism and Bob Cassidys Art of Mentalism. Al Fox SAM Assembly 138 meets on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 P.M. at the Tarrant County College River Campus. Al Fox fortworthmagiciansclub@hotmail.com www.fortworthmagiciansclub. org

Chick Kelman performs a trick from M-U-M

The Royal Road to Card Magic; I am sure everyone went home to look it up. Mike was next up with a psychic numbers prediction. It was very fooling and when he explained it, very easy, Thanks, Mike. Finally, Bill Hoagland did a card trick he can do with anyones cards, any time. He called it the Dream Card Trick. He picked a card out before the trick started and it ended up being the card counted to during the routine. We had a good night of magic and everyone had a good time. We held our annual picnic at Kim and Bill Hoaglands house; there was lots of good food and magic after the meeting. Everyone contributed and we had lots of fun. Thanks were given to them for their hospitality. William Hoagland Assembly 127 meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month at Libero Pensiero Society in Wallingford, CT.

July business meeting was kept to a minimum, with the major discussion concerning what to do with a large donation of items to the club from Matt Peacock. It was decided to auction it off with all proceeds going to the club treasury. That will be at the September meeting. Noah Gray showed a rice paper ball that he inflated. First the ball jumped from his lower hand up in the air and landed in his upper hand. The ball then floated hand to hand. Noah even passed his hand over it as it floated. Lanny Miller opened his routine by handing out a lighter; he asked a spectator to light a candle. Much to the spectators surprise, the lighter exploded this was not for the weak-of-heart! He then showed some cards with various numbers on them and had two



LOts Of MAgIc

PEnsacOla, FL The Gulf Coast Magicians Guilds August meeting started off with Gene Burrell teaching us how to utilize those old Mardi Gras beads in magic. Wow, thanks, Gene, for sharing your ideas. President Nathan Nickerson called the meeting to order. The business topics: the up-coming lecture by Barry Mitchell, the kids magic show, the awards banquet, the public show, the club picnic, the clubs new Web site (gulfcoastmagic.com) and the clubs new credit card machine. Members info: Billy Countryman attended Kidabra and brought the club back a signed poster from Duane Laflin. Dale Bosarge attended



FT. WORTH, TX The August 2011 meeting of the Fort Worth Magicians Club featured mentalism. President Bill Irwin and Program Chair Ash Adams started off the meeting with a tandem Do as I Do mental card trick. Next, Bill Irwin presented the Order of Merlin Excalibur award to Bob Utter for fifty uninterrupted years of service to the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Michael Dimsdle shared information about Doc Seatons www.magicsideshow.com, which he will be performing at in Austin, TX. To start off our mentalism program, Geoff Grimes shared two card routines, including Osterlinds Card Calling. Dr. Richard Pemper had a spectator choose a number on a large die and cover it; Dr. Pemper was able to name the number each time in a different way. Libby



BEaVER, PA Decisions were made for the Steve Marshal lecture, the fall picnic at Bradys Run Park, a possible lecture by Keith Fields, and Magiac Expo in Weirton, WV. A committee was chosen to pick slate for officers for 2011/2012. Judy Steed emceed the performances. Merlin Oldhouse performed his first trick for membership. He did a coin trick in which a coin disappears, reappears, multiplies, and finally vanishes. Anthony Caprizzi II performed his first trick for membership. He did a card trick with a participant helping with the division of the cards. Rich Howard did a new presentation of Two Card Monte using a Joker and two other cards. Doug Ries presented the Sym-



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pathetic Matchboxes. Don Moody made the Absconding Card from the July M-U-M. A silk is placed through a card in a frame. When pulled through, the scarf has the image of the card on it, and the card is blank. Jim Tate showed five one-dollar bills, changed them to five fivedollar bills, and then changed them back. Frank Kietzke told a story about the Bible with a CD (Jesus) that he placed in a wooden frame with two doors. The CD vanished and appeared in the CD case. Edde Ace did a rope trick in which he had a participant cut his rope in half. Two participants held the ends of rope. Eddie passed his hand over center, and the rope was restored. Tom Chidester performed the Magic Switchboard, an amazing trick with four different colored light bulbs. Ray Lucas showed a paper bag and a bottle of Coke. Ray placed the bottle in the bag, and then crumpled the bag. The bottle was gone. Bill Cornelius told a joke about a juggler and a drunk. Then he put a spoon in an envelope, shoved a knife through the spoon in envelope, and then removed spoon, which had turned into a fork. Judy Steed Assembly 157 meets at the Towne Square Restaurant in Beaver, PA, the second Thursday of every month. Judy Steed heyjude1943@msn.com (330) 525-5389 showed The Trick that Cant Be Done and entertained all. Bill Hamlin showed a variation of Bro. Hammans card routine, using the Gemini Count. Joe Garsetti, being fascinated by Tommy Wonders material, showed an effect using an egg and a deck of cards. Our surprise for the evening was a mini-lecture by master magician Bill Wisch. Bill demonstrated several card effects, including a variation of Slydinis Oil & Water. Finally, Chris Smith showed off his routine using Passport and a few other gimmicks. It was an excellent meeting, and we stayed cool all evening. If you have a chance, visit Scott at the shop and say hello. Assembly 168 meets on the 4th Wednesday at 7:30 PM in Parsippany NJ. For more information go to: www.sam168.org/ RALPH GREENwOOd AssEMBLy Is BAcK! story woven around the mystery of Jack the Ripper, in which avictim vanishesand agarter appears. Bob Rand wasup next with Hank the vanishing silk; it didnt disappear, but turned outto be wearing agreen jacket. As a finale, a golf ball appeared. Scot Grassette explained the importance of treating your audience correctly and displayed DocEasons Screwed-up. Brian Taylor showed us a version of Out to Lunch in which a signed card with a picture of a soccer ball vanishes off the card and turns into a real ball. Carroll Chapman presented a cell phone prediction and Grandpas Coins. Alan Drewhad some nice tips with the business of magic and showed us the new table he built. He also demonstrated a great way to trick out a salt shaker to perform some real miracles. Wes Boothdisplayed some nice card manipulation and performed a works in progress withImposturous Princess. Following the meeting, the fellowship continued at Pats Pizza for food and drinks and more magic! Scot Grassette Ralph Greenwood Assembly #174 meets at 3:00 on the first Sunday of each month at the Kennebec Church, at 5 Glen Ridge Drive, AugustaMaine. grassette@gwi.net and trimming to whittle the list down. In some cases we combined topics to broaden the subjects to be covered. It was decided that we would get ten different members to head up a twenty-minute workshop on something related to the meeting topic for each month. Then, other members could contribute their performances as it related to the months topic. In this way we hope to get everyone involved, even if the topic is outside their current comfort range. The objective is to expose our magicians to different facets of magic and hope they will learn from others. ERYX We will post a listing of our meetings and other information on our web site. magicsam181. com. Starting in October our meetings will be on the first Thursday of the month. We meet at 7:00 PM at the United Methodist Church of Hightstown, NJ, 187 Stockton St.


PaRsiPPany, NJ Our July meeting was the annual get-outof-the-heat meeting, so we met at The Wonderfun Magic Shop in Pompton Lakes, NJ. Shop owner Scott Morley, who is a lifetime member of S.A.M., graciously invited us to his store. Being the owner of one of the dwindling brick-and-mortar shops, Scott gave some history of his shop along with future plans for the store. His inventory was limited, but with a strong desire to support the shop many members took advantage of the huge discounts Scott offered and made it a fun night for all. The theme for the evening was demonstrationsand our members came prepared. First up, S. Patrick showed the Meir Yedid Perfect Prediction. Resident pitchman Al Callus



AUGUsTa, ME Things are becoming more active with the MaineS.A.M. For the last year and a half weve only met on special occasions, such as the annual auction and a special lecture or show. After more than a year without a regular monthly meeting, the Maine S.A.M. assembly will againhold elections and regular meetings, joining the fellowship of the currently unaffiliated magic group the Maine Magic Kings in Augusta, Maine. The Magic Kingshave successfully met and shared friendship and magicfor the past two years and have had no official officers. It will now be a requirement to be a member of NationalS.A.M. and InternationalI.B.M. to hold office with the group. The RalphGreenwood Assembly 174 will represent theS.A.M. in the Magic Kings. We welcomed our guest for the meeting, newly appointed Regional Vice President Joseph Caufield and hismost graciouswife, Kathy, who are also known as Lord and Lady Blacksword. Our meeting with the Kings was full of great magic and ideas, and started off with a mental color block prediction called Eternal Reoccurrence by Mr. Caufield. He followed with a piece called Jack, with his wife Kathy getting the credit for making the visualprops; it was a



Assembly 181 doesnt meet in July or August,but we did have a planning committee meeting in August at our new presidents house. Attending were: President Stephan Sloan; Vice President Dave Zboray, and our Dean, ERYX. The first order of business was a discussion concerning insurance for the assembly. This came about when the church where we meet wanted to know if we were insured. Our research into the subject revealed that such insurance was too expensive for a group of our size, costing somewhere between $500 and $1,000. ERYX talked to the Pastor and was able to resolve the matter. We then reviewed a list of over seventy possible meeting topics compiled by ERYX. We have ten meetings a year, so we really had to do a lot of choosing



ISRAEL The joint summer magic gala of Assembly 184 and the Israeli Magic Club took place on August 18 at the Hollon Theatre. The event was opened by close-up magic and balloons designs in the foyer. Zivi Kive made a very niceballoon models that after the event were donated to a kids hospital. The gala performance was opened by S.A.M. member Shay Nasy, who presented an excellent act with doves doves from wands, fire, feather, and appearing doves cages. Pepo the magician performed with a nice floating table routine. Gay Braca gave a nice new original routine by taking out from an empty safe a magic hat, flowers, Chinese lamps, and confetti. Young Idan Kaufman did a flowers routine and a floating candle. Eyal Bayer did a three electric ropes routine and a mental trick. Amit Choiri did a nice comedy routine with a dancing silk. Zivi Kivi showed a very funny Banana and silk routine. Roei Laofer performed a cabaret magic act with a wand through his assistants head. Shahar Livne offered a shade illusion with his assistant appearing. Chris La Artist did a funny card routine and Tomer Dodai closed the show by floating his assistant girl on a lighted stick. We had a great



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summer magic event. Shalom! Yosi Notkowitz For assembly information email: notko@012.net.il



p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at a King County Library Branch. Check our website for meeting locations www.emeraldcitywizards.org or Jim Earnshaw at jimearnshaw@ comcast.net

it being a beautiful summer evening in August, our meeting had a nice turnout. It started off with Larry Dimmitt fooling some of us with ACAAN by Barrie Richardson. Good job, Larry. Next up, Mark Paulson tried to influence new member Bill Murray to choose a card from a brand new deck. When Bill named the Three of Clubs, Mark took it out of the deck and placed it in his breast pocket. Mark showed that he was using a bluebacked deck, but when he turned over the chosen card, it had a red back. This was Richard Osterlinds RichardWave. Bill Murray then asked for some routining ideas for a card effect he is currently working on before he travels to England. He showed us his effect, and several members gave him some excellent ideas on patter and blocking. Roger Slywester showed us a clever effect featuring Texas Hold em, which he had learned from an old Linking Ring magazine. The spectator picked one of six hands of poker, and it turned out to be the winning hand. Chuck Kleiner performed an amazing three-phase prediction routine that included a book test, a magic square, and a number that was created by adding up three different spectators three-digit numbers. This was a fun effect, as it involved lots of people to come up with the predictions. Fred Turner showed us a bowl and ball routine using one bowl, some sponge balls, and his magic wand. The final load was a pack of cards, which he used to do a card in wallet effect. Last up was Ralph Huntzinger, who demonstrated some Renaissance-themed magic, utilizing an old wooden block with a hole in it, a rope, and an entertaining story about the class system during the Renaissance period. Mark Paulson The Emerald City Wizards Assembly 200 meets at 7


WA Despite



There is a tradition in the Baker Temple Assembly 226 of members serving as guest lecturers. At the July 27 meeting, Harold Wood taught several magic tricks to assembly members and the evening was a delight to everyone who attended. We even had two young magicians visiting our assembly this month. Harold started off with his presentation of the Invisible Deck. Harold had not only a poker-sized deck but also a large Invisible Deck for stage or parlor presentations. One of the members said he had never been able to do the Invisible Deck, so Harold graciously explained it. Next, Harold demonstrated the Ghost Box, in which a totally empty black shoe box is displayed and then several brightly covered silks are produced from it. Not only did he perform the illusion, he provided tips on creating ones own Ghost Box. Other great tricks shown by Harold were: Cords of Fantasia, which he credited to Tarbell; a mentalism illusion using envelopes and coins; and a bill switch that used a hole punch and a dollar bill. After the lecture, there was



time for Magic by Members. Members Watt Hyer (ESP mentalism), Alexander Goldberg (teleporting quarters), and Michael Heckenberger (cards) performed. In addition, guest Joseph De Paul did a great presentation of a John Ramsey coin routine using a wine glass. The business portion of the meeting addressed two future programs. The first is a ticket admission magic show for the public planned for April 1, 2012, at the Kimball Theater. We hope to approve going forward and signing the contract at the August meeting. The second is the assemblys participation in Williamsburg Area Learning Tree (WALT) by teaching four classes in magic this October and November. We hope to gain some new members though this initiative. On a personal note, I was on business in Dallas in July and managed to attend the July meeting of the Dallas Magic Club (a combined S.A.M. Assembly and I.B.M. Ring) and had a wonderful time. I strongly recommend visiting other Assemblies if and when the opportunity presents itself. Amy Goldberg Meetings are generally held at 7pm on the 4th Wednesday of each month are in room 009 (basement) of the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church at 215 Richmond Road, Williamsburg 23185. Phil Thorp assembly226@gmail.com (757) 229-2329 http://sites.google. c o m /sit e /s a m a s s e m bly 2 26 / Home

of coin magic to the stage wait a minute! It was supposed to be comedy night, not coin night! Well I guess the joke was on us as Geoff asked his participant to write down one of three amounts listed on a piece of paper. Geoff then emptied his pockets to show that he had the correct amount, well almost. We thought he was shy ten cents, but he quickly fooled us as he produced another dime a very large dime to make up the missing amount.

Post meeting impromptu card session

Harold Wood performs a mentalism act with coin envelopes and coins.

FaiRfax, VA Everyone was in good humor at the August meeting as Comedy Magic was the theme. One of our newest members, Wayne Spillner took to the stage early to show us his interpretation of humorous mentalism combined with financial responsibility. Tom Bohacek took to the stage and continued on the monetary theme with his coin prediction. His mental skills were also accurate and his bank account, although small, matched his prediction, as the audience accurately guessed how much money was in the sealed packet. Geoff Weber brought his flavor



Alan Wheeler regaled us with a story about his difficult morning as he discovered that the family pooch had shredded his morning newspaper. With a little magic, all was well; he deftly restored the paper good as new in full view of the membership. Card master Alec Negri fooled all of us, because we were expecting a funny card trick. Instead he visited a hardware store, bought some rope, and performed a trick with it. Our SYM members Avi Littky, Drew Kennerly, and Jack Avakian filled in the evenings entertainment with samplings of card and coin magic they have been practicing on their own and learning at the S.Y.M. meeting that precedes the regular meeting.Scott E. McDonald NOVAMAGIC Assembly 252 meets the third Thursday of each month at the Knights of Columbus Hall behind St. Leos Catholic Church, 3700 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030. Keith Pass magicalpass2@aol.com (703) 904-9138 www.sam252.com



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LaKEland, FL The regular monthly meeting was called to order by President Edward McGowan at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, August 9, 2010. The regular business was cut short, because of the Wallace Murphy lecture. As expected, there was standing room only. This is the largest group we have had attend our meeting. Wallace started his lecture, called Keeping it Real, with a coin trick, followed by a rope trick. The effects Wallace demonstrated were all useful for the average worker and his method for teaching was excellent and very easy to understand. Mr. Murphy did coins, ropes, cards, and a mixture of tricks that use ordinary objects found in homes, restaurants, and back rooms at any IHOP restaurant. This was truly a great lecture by a real gentleman. If Wallace Murphy is ever in your area doing a lecture you surely would not want to miss it. We took a break and shopped; Mr. Murphy had some great magic for sale. It was great seeing the room full. The meeting was adjourned and we broke into small groups and practiced what we had just been taught. Elmo Bennett (Acting Secretary for regular Sec.Al.) Jim Zachary Assembly 266 meets the second Monday of the month at 7PM at the Lakeland I-HOP, I-4 & US 98. For more info contact Al DAlfonso at keeper0499@ embarqmail.com
ered at that number. Simon also did a unique routine Ace cutting routine. President Mel Panzer again demonstrated his amazing ability with cards using the Si Stebbins card control system. Phil Labush did a wonderful presentation of the torn and restored Chinese laundry ticket. Gene Fein showed us a new trick using a pecking chicken to help do a special card routine. He also did a unique signed card illusion from M-U-M. Harold Greenbaum, the Dean of our assembly, did a super card trick, fooling the members when he turned over the one chosen card out of fiftytwo. Henry Epstein dazzled us with his giant cards that were cut in half; the two half cards picked by the spectator matched his prediction in an envelope. Arnold L. Rosen Assembly 274 meets at the JCC in Boca Raton, FL the first Monday of each month. Contact President, Mel Panzer (561) 304-7091 Twelve-year-old Marley (who has been doing magic for only six months) was up next. She called on Ice McDonald to assist her. She was able to decipher which two cards Ice selected. Marley then did a beautiful rope routine that ended her performance.Daniel, age thirteen, did several card tricks, including Cthulhus Aces, MacDonald Aces, and Daniel Garcias .44. Eleven-year-old Eddie entertained us with a few packet tricks before presented his version of Sword in the Box. Eddie and his friend Carlos built the box from scratch and made the thirteen swords out of Plexiglas. Carlos, age eleven, also performed, doing two card tricks for the enthusiastic audience. Alexander, the twelve-year-old card man, wowed the audience with Angle Zero and a signed prediction effect card effect. This was followed by a prediction trick using the calculator function of the iPhone. Thirteen-year-old Damien did a five-minute routine with nothing but a piece of rope. He bamboozled the audience with his presentation of the Hunter Knot. To close the show Mario, age thirteen, did a three-minute silent card manipulation act to music. Mario is this years recipient of the S.A.M. Magic Endowment Fund Scholarship to the Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp. He has competed for the last two years at the I.B.M. convention and is a member of the Magic Castle Juniors program. Congratulations and a job well done to the members of S.Y.M. Assembly Y141, the Westside Junior Wizards, for a great night of entertainment. S.A.M. Assembly 291, Westside Wizards, meets at 7:00 PM on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Boys and Girls Club of Venice, 2232 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291. For more information on the Westside Wizards contact Les Cooper at magicandmore@ gmail.com.



BOCA RATON, FL On August 1, with popular Gene Fein as emcee, our members enjoyed learning fabulous new tricks while attending Card Magic night. Barry Rubin showed us the Gilbreath Principle, ending up with every two cards in the deck always being red and black. Funny and talented Billy Byron did his flawless version of Brother Hammans Final Ace Routine. Vice Pres. Arnold Rosen amazed the members by doing a card trick called Ten Exact Cuts, in which he divided the deck into ten piles of cards, each pile having one through ten cards. Simon Carmel did a great card trick in which a number is picked between ten and twenty and the chosen card is discov-



VEnicE, CA The Westside Wizards hosted a Youth Night with all the performers from the Westside Junior Wizards, S.Y.M. Assembly Y141. In all, eight young people performed for us. As a special added treat Second International Vice President Kendrick Ice McDonald was in attendance. All last names of the youth have intentionally been omitted at their parents request. Jerry, age 13, opened the show doing what he called Cups, Cards, Fire and Dove. Next Jerry performed his rendition of Six Card Repeat; when he was done the floor was full of cards. Then he performed a Silk Fountain that went into the Vernet Flame followed by Tony Clarks Glove to Streamer. He finished his act by producing a live dove.

ATHENS, GA Our August meeting was our very first initiation ceremony. In attendance were Worthy Past President Todd Herron, Vice President Jay Schanerman, John Granrose, Laurie Marchman, Jeff Williams, and President Mark Hall. Neophytes Diane Guthrie and Tony Ferrante were escorted into the room and stood before The Most Illustrious. In good form, they confessed their ignorance of the Palm, Cabala, and Talisman. They were handed a deck of cards, which were glued together, and a pair of permanently linked rings. They were asked to demonstrate their magical prowess by performing a one-handed cut with the deck and unlinking the rings. Diane and Tony proved their humility by humbly announcing to the group that they were unable to perform these feats. They swore the oath and stood before us as Illustrious Compeers! After learning of our mysteries and traditions, we closed the ceremony. John Granrose generously presented our new members with a few back issues of various magic magazines. John left for England the following week, where he will represent The Athens Magic Club next month at Palladium Magic, A Night of 100 Magicians. The night will include a tribute to centenarian John Calvert. Jeff Williams demonstrated a device that vanished about six inches of his forearm and vanished a Champaign bottle to boot. After closing the meeting, we entertained our host and some customers. Contact Assembly 295 President, Mark E. Hall, at Assembly295@ yahoo.com for meeting dates and times.



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Assembly 291 group shot

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NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING JULY 13, 2011 PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA (UNAPPROVED MINUTES) The Society of American Magicians National Council meeting was called to order according to ritual at 9:21 a.m. by Most Illustrious Mark Weidhaas. Chaplain Michael Douglass gave the invocation. MI Weidhaas acknowledged Past Presidents Brad Jacobs, David Goodsell, Michael Douglass, George Schindler, Dan Rodriguez, Don Oltz, Harry Monti, Jann Goodsell, Ed Thomas, John Apperson, Andy Dallas, Bruce Kalver, Mike Miller and later, Jay Gorham; also IBM President Vanni Pul and IBM Past President Jack Greenberg. Minutes of previous meeting: PNP Brad Jacobs moved that the minutes of the Nov. 6, 2010, be approved with the following correction to replace existing wording regarding the Jeff McBride Mystery School: With the cooperation of Jeff McBride, the Magic Endowment Fund is able to offer a full tuition scholarship to Mystery School. Motion passed. Election Chairman Ed Thomas left the meeting to count ballots. REPORTS (Full reports in Blue Book, unless noted otherwise) NATIONAL OFFICERS (all present) Most Illustrious Mark Weidhaas thanked all the officers for a great year. He later announced that reports would be out of order because some council members had obligations at the convention. President-elect Vinny Grosso discussed the S.A.M. All-Star Magic Show he produced in June in Detroit Michigan. It featured Grosso, PNP Mike Miller, MI Mark Weidhaas, RVP Jania Taylor, two S.Y.M. members and drew more than 2,000 over two days. The organizers have asked him to put together another version of the show next year. First VP Chris Bontjes discussed the new assembly handbook that is online and his plans to continue efforts to add a magic badge to the Boy Scout program. Second VP Dal Sanders complimented the RVPs for doing a great job and led a round of applause for them. National Secretary Marlene Clark referred to her report in the book. National Treasurer Mary Ann Blowers reported that the S.A.M. ended the fiscal year with a $10,000 surplus of income over expenses, despite the fact that income didnt meet projections. She said the proposed budget included some cuts, but also included a $300 increase in each RVP budget, which will help them attend council meetings. Motion: Mary Ann Blowers moved that the S.A.M. accept a new budget of $392,000 for fiscal year June 1, 2011May 31, 2012. Discussion: None. Motion passed. Reports: Administrative Regional Vice Presidents Committee Chairs National Administrator Manon Rodriguez (present): see Blue Book report, which stated that total paid membership is 5,147, a 1.75 decrease from 2010. Young Members Program Director Jann Goodsell (present) reported kids in Oregon are already working and achieving pins in the new Achievement Pin Program. She said that the S.Y.M. has kids but needs adult leaders. RVP New England States Tucker Goodman (absent): see Blue Book report. RVP North Atlantic Pat Colby (present): see Blue Book report. RVP Mid Atlantic David Bowers (present) welcomed everyone to Pittsburgh. He recognized Beaver Valley Assembly 157 for providing transportation and a list of restaurants for council members and led a round of applause for the assembly. MI Weidhaas thanked Nick Carifo, Rich Howard and Ed Brandistine for transporting council members to and from the airport. RVP South Atlantic Rick Hinze (present): see Blue Book report. RVP Central Plains Jania Taylor (present) said she was happy to take part in the All Star Magic Show in Detroit and that members are trying to build the assembly there. RVP South Central Jeff Lanes (present): see Blue Book report. RVP Midwestern States Jeff Sikora (present) congratulated Deputy Shawn Rivera who got married July 2. RVP Sikora is planning lectures to Assembly #38 and Lincoln Assembly #293. RVP Southwestern States Kenrick Ice McDonald (present): see Blue Book report. RVP Northwestern States Michael Roth (present) said the Jerry Andrus House received unanimous approval from the Oregon historical recognition committee and has a good chance of being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It would be the first home of a magician to make the Register. Conference Executive John Apperson (live report): the next Council Meeting will be held November 3, 4 and 5 at the Double Tree Inn in New Orleans. He would like the S.A.M. to proceed with plans to hold a joint convention with the I.B.M. in St. Louis in 2014. The dates would be July 2, 3, 4, 5. He, PNP Brad Jacobs and MI Mark Weidhaas would serve as the S.A.M. representatives to the joint convention committee, which would also include IBM representatives Shawn Farquhar, Joan Caesar and Obie OBrien. Apperson also presented the Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia Pennsylvania for the 2015 convention, with a $110 room rate. Motion: PNP Brad Jacobs moved that the council approve a combined S.A.M./IBM convention in 2014 and authorize the suggested convention committee, with mutually agreed terms, to implement the event. Discussion: None. Motion passed unanimously. Motion: PNP Brad Jacobs moved that the S.A.M. National Council provide $3,000 in seed money for the 2014 Combined Convention. Discussion: none. Motion passed. Motion: PNPJohn Apperson moved that the Nation Council approve Philadelphia for the 2015 convention. Discussion: None. Motion passed. SAMtalk Bruce Kalver (present) reported that SAMtalk is 11 years old and has 1,800 members who have made 32,000 posts. He encouraged members to send him their email addresses to be included in SAMtalk. Technology Advisor Bruce Kalver (present) reported that the new S.A.M. application, MagicSAM, is on 1,300 devices and has been downloaded 864 times. Dean George Schindler (Public Relations, Houdini Fund, International Deputy present) reported that the 2011 convention has received excellent publicity. He also reported that the Houdini Fund distributed $2,000 during the 20102011 fiscal year. Assembly Visit Coordinator Kyle Peron (present) received a presidential citation from MI Weidhaas, who has changed his title to Assembly Contact

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Committee Chairman. Chaplain Michael Douglass (present) corrected his report in the Blue Book: he is, indeed, attending the meeting and is thankful to be in Pittsburgh. Deaf Magicians Deputy Simon Carmel (present): report in Blue Book. Election Chairman Ed Thomas returned to the meeting with the results of the election. Of 159 ballots mailed, 61 were returned. One was invalid for failure to follow instructions. The results are as follows: National Officers: President-elect: Chris Bontjes; First Vice President: Dal Sanders; Second Vice President: Kenrick McDonald; Secretary Marlene Clark; Treasurer Mary Ann Blowers. Regional Vice Presidents: Joseph Caulfield, New England; Pat Colby, North Atlantic; David Bowers, Mid Atlantic; Debbie Leifer, So. Atlantic; Jania Taylor, Central Plains; Jeff Sikora, Mid Western; Jeff Lanes, So. Central; Michael Roth, Northwestern; John Shryock, Southwestern; Canada, Shawn Farquhar.

Ethics Marc DeSouza (present) reported on work he has done this year regarding exposure. He also has been working on a revision to the code, to be voted on later in the meeting. Brad Jacobs (present, combined reports): Ambassador of Magic (live report). A tribute to Hank Moorehouse will be held today. Hanks son, David Moorehouse, will be in attendance. The cast of the troupe still performing in China have provided flowers for the tribute. Magic Endowment Fund (live report). The net worth as of June 30 was $768,000. In the past two years, the MEF has shown an increase of about 21%. The Houdini Fund reached a high of nearly $418,000; the Endowment Fund portion increased by about 5%. The MEF has had only two or three new life memberships a year, and cash flow remains a problem: the MEF spent about $31,000 more than what it took in. Magic Camp: Three youngsters will receive scholarships to attend Magic Camp. The MEF didnt have suitable applicants for Jeff McBrides class.

Monti & Jacobs Scholarship: Two students will receive scholarships. S.A.M.: The Trustees have donated $12,000 to the S.A.M. Hall of Fame and Magic Center Foundation: Support to these 501c3 organizations included $2,000 to the Hall of Fame. Weekend of Wonder: the SYM Trustees are planning a convention for Fourth of July weekend in 2012, most likely on the East Coast. The trustees have approved 10 fellowships to the convention. FISM Liaison: The North American Championships of Magic begins today. The winners will be crowned Saturday night. Gifts & Insignia Craig Schwarz (absent, report in Blue Book; live report by National Administrator Manon Rodriguez). She urged everyone to stop by the S.A.M. booth for the new Phoenix Cards, scarves and other items. Good & Welfare Tony Antonelly (present) read a letter from former National Secretary Chuck Lehr. He also conducted a door prize raffle, won by Char Gott. Magic for Special Education Harry Monti (present) reported that the fund awarded a scholarship to a young person whose name in Chinese means seeking excellence. Hall of Fame and Magic Museum John Engman (present) referred to Blue Book and added that about 22 volunteers worked diligently to remove the museums magic items from the contaminated bank building to storage. Heroism and Patriotism Award Bill Gleason (present) submitted the committees guidelines for the award and for the Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance program. There are two recipients for the Heroism and Patriotism Award this year. He played a portion of the audio presentation, We Remember, and thanked PNP Michael Douglass for his help in the project. He also announced that his son Brian Gleason became a life member at his Eagle Scout ceremony. Insurance Advisor Jeff Miller (absent, no report). Investment Richard Dooley (absent, report in Blue Book). Legal Counsel Stu Schneider (present), report in Blue Book). Life Membership Clem Kinnicutt (absent, Jean Kinnicutt reporting) referred to his Blue Book report and congratulated Brian Gleason on becoming a life member. M-U-M Editor Michael Close (present) said he was happy to be on board. He said that the M-U-M sampler is available online

and that M-U-M got a rave review in www. about.com. He credited the quality of the magazine to the generous contributions of people who donate their time and efforts to write for it. Magic Center Foundation Inc. Phil Milstead (present) in an attempt to keep his report in five words said, We have a magic center! More information is available in his Blue Book report and in a video that will be shown on Saturday of the convention. Marketing Marketing & Branding Vinny Grosso (present, report in Blue Book). He said the S.A.M. style guide is available online. He encouraged members who communicate on behalf of the S.A.M. abide by the style guide so that the S.A.M. will have better brand recognition. Advertising Dal Sanders (present) said that the S.A.M. is on Facebook and asked members to click like, so he could track traffic. Membership retention Kelly Peron (present, report in Blue Book.) Membership Promotions Chris Bontjes (present, report in Blue Book.) Media Librarian Ken Grady (absent, report in Blue Book). RVP Canada Shawn Farquhar (present, report in Blue Book) said that in light of his new position on the I.B.M. executive committee, some council members asked him to resign and recommend a replacement for RVP for Canada, which he will do. MI Weidhaas congratulated him on his new position. Member Service Award Jean Kinnicutt (present, report in book). Military Liaison Scott Hollingsworth (present, report in book). National Archivist Phil Milstead (present, no report). National Deputy at Large Clem Kinnicutt (present, no report). National Historian Tom Ewing (present, report in book). National Magic Week Jeff Sikora (present, report in book) said that all members of his committee were at the convention, and they would be meeting to discuss Magic Week efforts. New Assembly Coordinator Les Cooper (absent, report in book). Paranormal Investigation Committee Andy Dallas was here in spirit. Roles and Responsibilities Dick Bowman (present) corrected his Blue Book report, which includes the five goals and objectives of the society. He presented a synopsis of the five goals: Provide services to members, Provide opportunities to learn magic, Provide effective and efficient fiscal

OCTOBER 2011 23


management for the society, Establish ethics, Preserve the history of magic. The correct version is already on the S.A.M. website. He is working with incoming president Vinny Grosso to establish roles and responsibilities for committees, which will tie into the objectives of the S.A.M. This too, will be on the website. Sharing Awareness Mentoring Program Bob Carroll (absent, report in book) Spotlight Program Barbara Dallas (absent, report in book). SYMbol Editor Michael Raymer (absent, report in book). Veterans Program Debbie Leifer (absent, report in book). Webmaster David Xanatos (absent, report in book). OLD BUSINESS None ITEMS FROM CAUCUS 1. David Goodsell discussed proposed guidelines that the Ethics Committee presented and made the following motions: A. Motion: That the National Council adopt and publish guidelines to be used by all members of The Society of American Magicians in pursuit of any and all magic interests under the Standards of Ethics as stated in the by-laws of the Constitution of The Society of American Magicians. Be it understood that the Ethics Committee of the Society will use these guidelines in considering breach of ethics complaints and in recommending action to be taken by the National Council, which, in turn, will consider said guidelines in making decisions. Motion passed. B. Motion: That the chairman of the Ethics Committee prepare said guidelines using the model presented to the National Council via email prior to the National Council annual meeting, but incorporating recommended additions and clarifications as presented by David Xanatos, also by email prior to the meeting. The final guidelines are to be verified by the members of the Ethics Committee, the president of The Society of American Magicians, and two other members of the council to be appointed by the President. Discussion: directs the committee & most illustrious & 2 other appointees to verify that the guidelines being present include the additions. The guidelines do not preclude grievance procedures that already exist. Motion passed. C. Motion: That the guidelines be published on one or a series of articles in M-U-M within the next six months, with emphasis on the importance of a Code of Ethics to the well-being of The Society of American Magicians. This articles or series should be approved by the Ethics Committee, the president of The Society of American Magicians and two other members of the council to be appointed by the president. Discussion: The purpose of this is to take action and to ensure we are moving forward. DeSouza recommended that the Code of Ethics and Guidelines be easy to find on the S.A.M. website. Motion passed. PNP David Goodsell encouraged incoming President Vinny Grosso to make the importance of ethics in magic a priority during his term. 2. Magic Week Committee chairman Jeff Sikora sought approval from the National Council to create the S.A.M. Humanitarian Award. It is to be awarded to magicians who exemplify the spirit of National Magic Week those who donate worthy causes. Motion: Jeff Sikora moved that the S.A.M. approve the creation of the Humanitarian Award. Discussion: The National Magic Week Committee will decide the recipients. Motion passed. New Business 1. Motion: National Secretary Marlene Clark moved that the National Council accept the chartering of the Chambersburg Magic Club S.A.M. Assembly #296 and the rechartering of Dallas S.Y.M. Assembly Y073. Motion passed. 2. Compeer Andrew Gressett of New Orleans Louisiana spoke, requesting that Assembly members be allowed to get information emails and correspondence they have requested. MI Weidhaas suggested he speak with the executive officers, who could bring up the issue on his behalf. 3. RVP Canada Shawn Farquhar submitted his resignation and recommended Rod Chow of Vancouver, British Columbia, as his replacement. Chow was in the audience, and MI Weidhaas appointed him to replace Farquhar. 4. Marc DeSouza questioned the designation, North American Championship of Magic, as there are competitions held throughout the world, and many competitors were not from North

NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING JULY 13, 2011 PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA (UNAPPROVED MINUTES) America. President-elect Vinny Grosso said that the geographical name was clerical: nothing precludes anyone from competing in any FISM contest. The contest was to name the winner of the contest held in North America. 5. President-elect Vinny Grosso sought approval for the 20112012 committee heads. Most have been reappointed. New committee heads include the following: Insurance Advisor: Michael Piacente Marketing: Mark Weidhaas Branding: Brad Jacobs Membership Promotions: Steve Marshall International Deputy at Large: Steve Marshall International Deputy for the UK Mandy Davis Veterans Program/Military Membership Liaison: Scott Hollingsworth. Executive Show Producer: Mike Miller Strategic Planning and Responsibilities Committee: Dick Bowman Motion: Mark DeSouza moved that the new appointments be approved. Motion passed. 6. Compeer Robert Puhala of Youngstown Ohio discussed changes in Roberts Rules of Order, which asks that organizations adopt new bylaws. He suggested that the S.A.M. should not have a constitution. GOOD & WELFARE Secretary Marlene Clark extended a Howdy from former national secretaries Chuck & Joan Lehr. R.G. Smith thanked everyone for 14 fabulous and fulfilling years as Executive Show Producer and wished Mike Miller, the new Executive Show Producer, good luck. Adjourn Delegate Steve Spence moved the meeting be adjourned. Meeting was adjourned according to ritual at 11:17 a.m. Respectfully submitted, Marlene Clark National Secretary

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A Magician Prepares...
Cutting Up More Jackpots
In my column in the December 2009 issue of M-U-M, I mentioned that circus folk call sharing stories of the road by the quaint term cutting up jackpots. One of the stories I shared in that column concerned the 1957 Bentley S I drove with my fullevening show Magic-Capades. Alas, all of my pictures of that car were lost when a leak in the roof of my storage unit destroyed a box of photographs. My friend Wally Reid from Michigan read that and sent along the picture of me with the Bentley you see in Photo 1. It was taken in Colon, Michigan, in the driveway of our mutual friend and Abbotts Magic employee, Glen Babbs. A couple of times we performed in venues where we could drive the Bentley out onto the stage. In those cases, I would make my entrance riding in the rear seat of the Bentley, which was driven by one of the girl assistants wearing a chauffeurs outfit with very short shorts. She would get out, open the rear door for me, and I would step out and produce a dove.

by Dennis Loomis
mechanic. He was left alone to work on the levitation as the rest of us set up everything else. When it was time for the show to start, I didnt know if we could end with the levitation or not. Near the end of the show, Cat Chaney, the principal female assistant, passed me the word that Brad had the illusion working. During the performance, it worked properly and the audience had no idea that anything was wrong. Afterwards, I rushed backstage to congratulate Brad and saw an amazing sight. The control box for the levitation was completely dismantled and there were bare wires lying around. Brad had controlled the movements of the illusion by grabbing the proper wires, and, as I made the appropriate gestures, he brought the bare wires together to activate the machinery. Below are two depictions of our levitation. As you can see, we had two different presentations. One was the straight version seen in Photo 2. We did this version in performances where the satanic ritual would be too strong. We did the straight version, for example, for the TV show Kids Are People, Too with Bob McAllister. (This show had originally been called Wonderama.) But we usually did the satanic version in live performances. Figure 3 catches the flavor of our performance, but shows the girl lying on a draped board. We replaced that with an invisible cradle shortly after the sketch was made.

This month I have a few more jackpots to cut up for you. In 1978, we took the Magic-Capades show up through Canada to Alaska. We played several dates in British Columbia on the way up, and boarded a ferry boat in Prince Rupert for the voyage north through the inside passage of Alaskas southeast panhandle. We played the towns of Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau, and Sitka, leaving the boat, staying in each town for twenty-four hours, and getting back aboard the next days boat. We had a great time. Ketchikan has one of the highest rainfall levels on Earth; the locals were amazed that we had twenty-four hours of straight sunshine for our visit. In Ketchikan I did the straitjacket escape down on the docks as a publicity stunt, and the huge crane pivoted around so that I hung over the Pacific Ocean. We also got to go out on a salmon fishing boat owned by one of our sponsors. We left the ferry boat at the small town of Haines. It had a population of only 1,200 people at that time, far too small to set up a phone room promotion. But I did arrange to do a show with the Chamber of Commerce as our sponsor. Our only promotion was an ad in the local newspaper and a few posters around town. There was only one place in town for a show and it only seated about 150 people. Thirty minutes before the show, there were about 800 people (two thirds of the towns population) waiting to get in. We were able to squeeze over 200 people into the venue. As we set up, we discovered that our levitation was not functioning properly. It was an electrical problem with the switches controlling the on/off and up/down movement. Our truck driver, Brad, was also one of the backstage assistants, and a pretty fair

Another interesting thing happened with the levitation when we performed for Michigan Magic Day in 1975. That year the convention was held at Calvin College in Grand Rapids. We closed the evening show with the levitation. We used recorded music for the levitation scene, starting with Mussorgskys Night on Bald Mountain and segueing into Bachs Toccata and Fugue in D Minor played on a pipe organ. We arrived at the theater and at the back of the stage was a full-sized pipe organ! I asked the stage manager if he knew of someone who could play it. He said hed make a couple of phone calls, and before we had unloaded and set up our equipment the head of the music department arrived. I asked him if there was someone available who could play the organ for the evening performance, and he indicated that he would be happy to do it. I gave him a couple of Annie Oakleys (free passes) for his family. As he turned on the organ, he asked what music I wanted and I mentioned the Bach Toccata and Fugue. He slid onto the bench and said, You mean this one? And he played

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it perfectly. The sound was just incredible; the low notes shook the building, as pipe organs are wont to do. For the performance we began with the levitation set up in front of a traveler curtain and played the recorded version of Night on Bald Mountain. Then, just as the girl began to rise, the sounds of the pipe organ took over, and as the girl moved slowly upward, the traveler curtain opened to reveal the pipe organ at the back of the stage, with the Professor playing the Bach Toccata. As the girl reached the apex of her travel, the organ music increased in volume until it shook the building once more. After the show was over, I went to the dealers room where a young magician asked me how long it took to set up the pipe organ! I have always had problems recalling whether truck driver/ mechanic Brads last name was Dancer or Danson. We lost a truck driver on relatively short notice and Brad joined the show. It was my habit, at the end of the show, to acknowledge the two backstage assistants who were not seen on stage. One was Bob Richardson who was the both stage manager and the voice of the show, announcing and introducing many of the scenes, but he stayed offstage. The other was our truck driver and assistant, Brad. The day that Brad joined our troupe we had a show, and during the wrap up, I introduced the onstage assistants who came out and shared the stage with me. Then I mentioned Bob and got a round of applause for him. As I started to introduce Brad, I could not remember his last name. Cat Chaney leaned over to me and said, Dancer. So I introduced him as Brad Dancer. But Cat leaned in again, and said, Danson. I thought I had misunderstood the first time, but Cat had done it intentionally just one of those little pranks that roadies engage in. The following night, I was still unsure, but I said, Dancer. Cat, of course, leaned in and corrected me. Cat made a running gag of this, and to this day Im not sure what Brads last name is. Brad was a great truck driver; when he came to work for us, Bob Richardson took him under his wing. Bob explained that we had a lot of equipment to load in from the truck for every show, and that it was important that we get the semi as close as possible to the load-in door to minimize the distance we had to carry the heavy prop cases. That often meant getting the truck into some pretty tight spots. The truck driver cannot see directly behind the truck, so when maneuvering in tight spaces, they have to have a good spotter on the ground to signal them into position. Brad and Bob worked out a set of their own signals and the two of them got the truck into some places I would not have thought possible. When it was time to get the truck onto the first ferry boat, there was a spotter from the boat crew. Bob told him, Just show me where you want the truck and well put it right there. But the spotter said no, he would have to direct the truck into position. His signals were very different: he flailed his arms this way and that, and Brad had a hard time figuring out what he wanted. Bob walked over and stood just behind the guy, who couldnt see him, and took over. The guy thought that Brad was looking at him, but Brad was actually looking at Bob as they skillfully guided the truck to the correct spot. I couldnt help but laugh at the whole scene. Whatever his last name was, Brad was a great truck driver and assistant, and we missed him a lot when he left us. We usually included a scene with balloon animals during the show and it served as the introduction to a pitch of balloon animal kits (Photo 4). We always did this just before intermission. During the intermission, we had an assistant at the front of the stage selling the balloon animal kits for a dollar or two. Stan Kramien taught me to always pitch something to pick up a little gas money, so I used a routine of Stans to get into the pitch.

(Stan may have learned the 4 routine from George Sands.) A cute little girl about four or five years old was brought to the stage, and I made a single balloon sculpture for her. This was usually a French poodle. I started to send her back to her seat, but then brought her back and gave her another balloon sculpture. This balloon and the subsequent ones were passed out to me from the wings. So now the girl had a balloon model in each hand. Again, I started to dismiss her and then called her back. The third model went under one of her arms. The fourth one went under her other arm. The fifth one was a large rocking horse that was made of six balloons; it was placed over her head with the rockers of the horse holding it in place around her body. Next, an octopus was placed over her. It had a fully inflated twelve-inch round balloon for the head, and eight full-length 260 balloons for the tentacles. This also went on top of her head. The final figure was a centipede. This was simply a long line of balloons tied end to end with feet every few inches. The centipede was usually about fifteen or twenty feet long; as I pulled it into view, we got a big laugh, because the audience anticipated it getting piled on top of the poor little girl who was, by now, almost totally obscured by all of the balloons. Before I sent the little girl away, I also gave her a balloon animal kit, and (as a subtle way to pitch it) I explained to her what it was. After the girls parents came up to get her, I explained that if any of the other youngsters would like a balloon animal kit, they would be available at the front of the stage during the intermission. My crew got me good after we had been on the road for about a year. We came back home and did a show in Ann Arbor, where most of us had lived before we hit the road. I booked the big legit theater on the University of Michigan campus. This facility was called the Power Center for the Performing Arts (Photo 5). It was the venue for top attractions like the road show versions of Broadway shows, and performers like Marcel Marceau when they appeared on the U. of M. campus. I dont think there had been a magic show there before, but in 1978 it hosted three big magic shows. Harry Blackstone Jr. brought his marvelous show there under the twofer deal he had that year. His attraction was bundled with the musical Side by Side by Sondheim. If a 5 theater wanted the Sondheim show, they also had to take the Blackstone show during the same season. Our show was sponsored by a local service

OCTOBER 2011 27

A MAGICIAN PREPARES club, and we had a phone room operation to sell tickets. Both my Magic-Capades show and Blackstones show sold about three quarters of the seats for a matinee and evening show. The third show was Doug Henning, who was a big TV star at the time. For his show they put one small ad in the Ann Arbor newspaper and sold out the entire house for a matinee and evening performance. But I digress. I was telling you the story of the balloon pitch. At the show in Ann Arbor, everything went smoothly, and we got to the end of the balloon scene. The little girl was just about covered with balloons and I announced the centipede, but it was not handed to me from offstage. For a moment I didnt know what was going on, and then I spotted our phone room manager, Don McMillon, coming down one of the aisles of the theater from the back of the house. He was carrying the head of the longest balloon centipede I had ever seen. When he got to the stage, it extended

by Dennis Loomis all the way up the aisle and out into the lobby. Other people helped him carry it and he turned and walked along in front of the stage, and back up the other aisle. The centipede followed and Don and the centipedes head disappeared into the lobby. Finally, the end of the centipede reached the front of the stage and was handed up to me. I started to pull it onstage and drape it over the girl, but I was overcome with laughter. My assistants came out from backstage and we somehow got it all up onto the stage so that we could bring up the house lights and declare the intermission. Im told that the look on my face when I first saw the enormous centipede was priceless. It certainly remains a vivid memory to this day. I salute Bob Richardson, Cat Chaney, Tim Wise, and the others who worked for me back in the Magic-Capades era for coming up with things like this to keep our life on the road exciting.

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Blood, Sweat, and Butterf lies
by Christian Painter
t a busy resort, on a starlit night in Tucson, Arizona, you purchase an ornate, black-and-gold ticket to see a magical experience. You are then escorted into an ante-chamber where funky striped curtains and music draw you into the entrance of an intimate theater. As you pass through the entrance, you are transported to a different world. The room is decorated with trappings from the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days: plush curtains, colored lights, antique pieces of history that span the globe, and thirty-five comfy chairs. You have just entered Sarlot and Eyeds Carnival of Illusion. Carnival of Illusion takes you on a journey around the world. You will explore fascinating places like France, India, and Japan. There is exotic music, magic, dance, razor blades, and swords. There is even a cute little dog named Harriette Houdini that makes an appearance, much to the delight of the audience. The finale of the show is a piece that Roland and Susan have been performing since 2003, called The Gift. It ends in a storm of beautiful butterflies that cover the audience. Roland Sarlot and Susan Eyed perform this intimate parlor show in their secret world four times every weekend. They have been on television, radio, newspapers, and magazines all across the Southwest. Carnival of Illusion has received high praise from critics and the regional media. Many have congratulated the couple on becoming an overnight success. To this statement Roland chuckles and replies, It has taken a few years of blood, sweat, and butterflies to become an overnight success. Blood, sweat, and butterflies? Okay, I get the blood and sweat part, but whats this butterfly thing? Susan explains, Throughout our journey to become professional magicians, there were many setbacks and struggles, lessons learned, servings of humble pie, and heartwarming inspiration that lead to transformations. We call them butterfly moments, where the caterpillar of hard work and persistence becomes beauty with wings. The story begins like most, but with a twist. Yes, Roland received a magic set when he was a child and dreamed of

becoming a magician. But then Roland grew up; his dreams of performing before cheering crowds was replaced with the knowledge that you have to make a living. He entered college and studied mathematics, earning a graduate degree in optical engineering. He went on to design some of the largest optical telescopes in the world. His career at the university was exciting and rewarding; however, he would sometimes think back on that childhood dream of performing magic.

Early magic with Grandmas handmade cape.

Roland stayed connected to the magic world by visiting the Magic Castle, showing up at the local magic clubs every so often, and reading the occasional magic book, but he was not a magician. He was just someone who loved magic. Then one day a local S.A.M. magician, Jay Knapp, suggested that he perform for kids at the local hospital pediatric ward. After perfecting a few routines, Roland found this extremely rewarding. Bringing moments of joy to children who are suffering had a profound impact on him. Excited by his enjoyment at performing at the local hospital, Roland also tried his hand at restaurant

performing. Before jumping into the tablehopping world, he consulted with a few professionals. He was told that he should begin at the bottom, the very bottom. This is the place to make mistakes, to learn the craft in front of the toughest crowds, people who dont care about magic at all. Roland started performing table magic at a restaurant chain that served pizzas. It was not glorious, but it was highly educational. You have to learn how to grab attention and hold it with entertainment, says Roland. I learned that nobody really cared about a magic trick. The patrons just wanted a vacation from their daily lives. When Roland was working the lower tier restaurants, his biggest lessons were on how to interact with people. His magic was improving, but honing his skills in social interaction and presentation was the bigger lesson. After a time, his increased skills allowed him to move up the ladder of restaurants; in a few years he was working some of the highest end restaurants in town. He was also learning to perform a stand-up banquet show. From his restaurant work he would pick up the occasional corporate function. Suddenly, his magic life was beginning to overwhelm his engineering life. A few years earlier, he was introduced to a dancer named Susan Eyed. She is a quirky, bohemian woman whose smile intoxicates all those around her. She learned dance while traveling around the world and was highly influenced by her adventures in Morocco and other foreign lands. At the time, Susan toured across the country and was performing in Tucson with a troupe she formed called Hadia Sahara or Gift of the Desert. Susan was a master at luring her audience into her performance and infusing it with intense emotion. She explored and pushed the traditional forms of her craft by using non-traditional props and incorporating other influences and genres of dance; she was on the cutting edge of ethno-modern belly dancing. Roland found a unique type

OCTOBER 2011 29

Working the fair and waking up the audience.

of inspiration in watching Susans performance. It quickly changed the way in which he performed his magic. He knew he had to incorporate the richness of emotion and charm that Susan displayed in her dance. Soon, Roland and Susan were collaborating and giving feedback to one another after watching each others acts. Susan loved watching Roland perform his precision-like magic and he loved watching her mysterious and enchanting dance. It wasnt long before they talked of combining their talents to form a unique act. Roland and Susan began collaborating. Susan taught Roland movement and staging. Roland taught Susan magic. Suddenly, Roland found himself standing at a crossroads. If he wanted to grow and possibly become a professional in magic, a decision had to be made: either keep magic as that fun hobby, performing at a restaurant once or twice a week, or quit his job and realize the dream of becoming a full-time magician. This would become a butterfly moment of transformation. His university colleagues couldnt comprehend his decision when he went to his boss and quit. That wasnt easy, explains Roland. This was really a leap of faith. There is no sure money

here, no weekly paycheck to count on, no health insurance, no unemployment, no disability, no retirement, and no vacation. It was very scary, but if I didnt jump into the deep end, I felt I would always be on the sideline of performing, pretending. What made their act different from the beginning was their collaboration of building a show based on their unique strengths. Susan was not the usual dancer assistant handing props to the magician, but rather wanted to be a magician in her own right. From the start, she commanded the stage in her solo pieces. She incorporated her past experience from working in the trenches at street fairs, Arab nightclubs, homes for the aged, Mediterranean restaurants, and Renaissance Festivals into the world of magic. In fact, her insulation from the magic world was a huge benefit. This allowed Susan and Roland to put their own creative spin on the classics of magic. For example, when they began working on the Hindu basket at the beginning of their career, they actually had no idea how it worked. Susan was convinced the girl got in the basket and then slipped out the back to hide behind the prop. They decided to spin the basket to dispel that belief. In addition, their swords didnt insert from the top but rather all the way through the sides. Although this made handling (and hiding) much more difficult, it also gave the impression that twice as many spears were used. They hand constructed their first basket from an actual clothes hamper! Eventually, they retired the original homespun version and replaced it with a basket made to their specifications: not constructed by an illusion builder, but rather a craftsman specializing in wicker baskets for hot air balloons. After months of preparation and rehearsal they premiered their first joint show. It was a dismal failure. It was too esoteric and bizarre, bemoans Roland. This was not the start to his magical career that Roland hoped for after just quitting his lucrative job. Always upbeat and encouraging, Susan replied, We couldnt let it get us down, so we just chalked it up as a learning experience! This was to be the first of many setbacks ahead. Roland and Susan knew that to grow, you need help. They searched out directors to look over their act and trusted professional friends to give brutally honest critiques. Its not easy to hear that a piece you have worked on for months is a dreadful confusion of mixed up signals, but if you want to achieve beautiful magic, you fix it or ditch it, recalls Susan. Slowly they improved. Susan

had a few dance outfits that could work on the magic stage but the majority of their wardrobe would come from vintage and resale stores. She would cut, piece together, and add embellishments to ordinary clothing to create desirable, show-stopping, one-of-a-kind costumes. I like giving things a second chance... people throw away the most amazing treasures, whispers Susan. They employed Rolands friends who built his astronomy instruments to construct magical pieces made from Susan and Rolands imagination. Their show began to gel and take form. Shaking his head, Roland remembers, We would sometimes work on just three minutes of our act for weeks, trying to find just the right music, script, and movement. They took every gig, no matter how challenging it was. They performed at clubs in front of the inebriated, the ambivalent, and the apathetic. They worked various company picnics, banquets, or employee appreciation parties; they were sometimes treated like royalty, other times they were treated like servants. They stuck it out in the cold and rain. They worked at street fairs, festivals, and community events, where they might or might not have a stage. Other times, they were on the grass, in the dirt, or on steaming hot parking lots. They played to crowds numbering in the thousands and at a Fringe Festival in Des Moines, where there were only two guests in the audience: one was a paid ticket holder and the other was the ticket taker! They marched on through county fairs that were devoid of the shade, and learned how to keep the dust out of their speakers and prevent their tables from blowing over. Their dressing rooms ranged from the rare green room, to cramped closets, to the back of their van. At one tough outdoor venue, in the middle of their show, like clockwork, Budweisers famous team of Clydesdales clippity-clopped a few feet right behind the audience. So how did they handle this? Sometimes they stopped the show and acknowledged the horses, other

Performing on live televsion

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First promo shot

times they worked the distraction into a joke, and sometimes they just kept going as they held the audiences attention. Nothing worked every time. However they kept learning; their magic was evolving, and so was their relationship. After years of forging their act in the fires of live audiences, they finally had a solid show. Just when they thought they had arrived, they learned that having a great show was only the first part of the equation. To get to the next level of success, they would have to learn the business side of show business. We promised ourselves we would not be starving artists, so we made ourselves learn that part of our profession, adds Susan. They discovered a niche market in their state by performing for the hundreds of retirement resort communities found throughout Arizona. The insular market was difficult to break into but after paying the high fees for showcases and marketing to them for years, they were finally getting booked. It was a great training ground from an older audience who grew up watching live entertainment. If they dont like something in your act, theyd tell you about it, confides Roland. The high-season coincided with the end of the corporate season, which was perfect. However, another set-back was just around the corner. National companies were creating tours for that same market. These companies would supply an entire years stable of name performers, which eliminated the need for each resort to negotiate with every entertainer. Since Roland and Susan were not with an agency, their fifty gigs a year from this market turned into less than five. Over the next couple of years Roland and Susan continued to perform but more and more of their time was spent developing their marketing. Hiring a graphic designer, photographers, finding a Web site expert, developing print materials, and creating videos were the next challenges. We were quite naive when we started the business side of

our business. We had only thought of ourselves as performers. Suddenly, we realized, like it or not, we were business people, remembers Susan. We were reading more books and magazines on business than magic. They were now working some high-end gigs. They were hired as house entertainers at the exclusive Canyon Ranch and Miraval resorts, whose guests include movie stars and the ultra-rich. They performed in the small rooms of casinos, small performing arts centers, and chic clubs around the state. Then they landed a dream job. They were contracted to play the main stage at a large casino in Albuquerque. They played two shows, each to over a thousand people. The casino needed posters, print materials, videos, and a marketing angle that would be used on the massive outdoor marquee and, thanks to their focus on the business side, they delivered. Their marketing efforts had paid off. Performing on a seventy-twofoot rock-star stage with a million-dollar lighting and sound system was a huge thrill. Roland and Susan finally achieved success and then...the economy tanked. Businesses all over the country were struggling to stay alive and entertainment was no longer in anyones budget. If we wanted to continue to perform we would again have to reinvent ourselves, says Roland. It was time for another butterfly moment! adds Susan. Instead of chasing audiences cross country, they wanted tourists and locals to come to them by creating their own theater in which to perform every weekend. They approached many locations throughout the state, looking for one that would not only be a great venue but a profitable business as well. Weeks of searching turned into months. In fact, almost after a year of searching and testing numerous markets in Arizona, they finally found their location. They negotiated with a resort hotel in the heart of Tucson and began preparations to launch The Carnival of Illusion Theater.

Up to this point in time, Roland and Susan had very little contact with the magic world. They had focused their efforts at becoming successful with lay audiences. The only magic conventions they had attended were the 2006 FISM in Stockhom and the combined S.A.M./ I.B.M. convention in Louisville. So it was quite the surprise when they received a call from Hank Moorehouse asking them to open the final night Gala Show at Abbotts Magic Get-Together in 2009. He was a man of few words, but they meant a lot. He had faith in us and we will forever be grateful to him. We were a bit apprehensive, because we had never performed for magicians before, recalls Susan. But we just went out there and did our job. They were very well received, getting a standing ovation and the prestigious Jack Gwynne Award for Excellence in Magic. They were teary-eyed and stunned when they accepted their award. That was a huge thrill in our career, exclaims Susan. In the fall of 2009, they opened their first season of Carnival of Illusion with sixty-two sold out performances. However, there were still more details to refine: the marketing, the publicity, and improvement of the theatrical atmosphere. You want to say thats it, but you know that moment is very short-lived. Theres always room for improvement both for the show and the business side, says Susan. In February 2011, Sarlot and Eyed wanted to celebrate a special occasion in their career, so they created a fundraiser and partnered with a local non-profit arts organization that transports rural school children to the city and connects them with art and artists. At last, they would be celebrating their 1,000th show in just seven years of performing together. Roland laughs, Its been an absolute whirlwind. Currently, Roland and Susan are in their third year with Carnival of Illusion. They perform over 150 shows a year, ninety in their theater; the vast majority of the shows are sold out. They have since hired staff to help them in the marketing and operations of their show. Roland and Susan are constantly on the go, either working on their act or working on their business. We enjoy our life because have each other, we have magic, and we have fantastic audiences, says Susan. Roland adds, I never thought when I was that kid with a dream of becoming a magician, that it would take this much blood and sweat! If you come up to Roland and Susan and tell them how lucky they are, they will both smile and tell you a long story about hard work and butterflies.

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The Nielsen Gallery

Houdini - Eclipsing Sensation
Dimensions:28 x 40 Lithographer: Russell Morgan Lithograph, Co. Date:1906 Nielsen Rating: Rare
The iconic Houdini image on the right is probably the most reproduced magic poster of all time. One can find numerous versions of it printed on paper, canvas, tin plates, trays, cups, and mugs. What many people do not know is that it is an extremely rare poster. We only know of two originals in existence. One was in the Christian Fechner collection in France. This Fechner poster sold for $78,000 (USD) at auction in 2006. The other poster is part of the Nielsen Magic poster collection. Nielsen acquired it from the late Jay Marshall in 1991. This poster depicts the act that launched Houdinis career and made him famous. The first public performance of the handcuff escape was in November 1895, when Houdini announced that before he was locked in the Substitution Trunk he would allow his hands to be secured with borrowed handcuffs from the audience. To advertise the show, he repeated the feat at a newspaper office and at a police station. Keep in mind that Houdini did not become an overnight sensation. For years he paid his dues, working at dime museums, medicine shows, and circuses. He and his wife Bess made only a modest living. It was not until 1899 that Houdinis career as the King of Handcuffs really took off. Martin Beck, one of the most important theatrical managers of the time, met Houdini and challenged him to escape from a few handcuffs. Houdini did just as requested, and through Becks initial management and assistance he became one of the top vaudeville performers in the early 20th century. Houdini signed a contract with Beck that placed him in leading Orpheum vaudeville houses in cities like Kansas City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Denver, San Francisco, and in Keiths houses in Boston and Providence. His salary kept increasing from $60 per week to $250. By the time he added a straitjacket escape to his repertoire, he was making $400 per week. In 1900 Houdini headed for Europe and eventually parted company with Beck. He arrived in England without a contract, and had nothing except a scrapbook and a suitcase. In order to get work, he convinced Mr. Slater (the manager of the Alhambra Theatre) to take him to Scotland Yard where he managed to free himself from restraints almost instantly. Mr. Slater booked him on the spot and this marked the beginning of his success in Europe. He was quite a sensation in England, and he alternated his circuits of British music halls with tours on the continent, mostly in Germany. He played in cities like Cologne, Dresden, Frankfurt, Hannover, and Leipzig. In Germany he was known as Ausbrecherknig or Escape King. He traveled to France and later to Russia, where, in spite of the anti-Semitic sentiments, he managed to find work. He returned to the United States in 1906, and worked the Keiths Vaudeville Circuit for three years, this time commanding a salary of $1,000 per week. In order to keep his act interesting, he started adding other daring stunts to his repertoire, like the Milk Can Escape. Later, in 1912, he invented the Water Torture Cell. He also invited people and companies to issue formal challenges, during which he was dared to escape from the most freakish looking contraptions. One popular challenge was being stuffed inside a US postal mailbag, with the top folded over and cinched by a leather strap and rotary lock. He managed to escape from this in twenty-one minutes. The Weed Tire Chain Grip Company challenged him to escape from their product: heavy automobile chains that were drawn around his entire body and that held him bound to two steel rimmed automobile wheels. Other bizarre offers included screwed down coffins, long ladders to which he was shackled to the rungs, a glass box made of three-eighth inch panels bolted together, and even a boiler a regulation hot water tank measuring five feet high by two feet in diameter. Houdini trained himself to hold his breath in very cold water and started making promotional stunts by jumping in shackles from various bridges into rivers. He jumped from a bridge in New Orleans into the Mississippi River, from the Belle Isle Bridge into the icy Detroit River, and from a wharf into San Francisco Bay. He visited police stations, and after being stripped naked and examined from head to toe, he was locked up with as many handcuffs and leg irons as the police cared to use and then placed in a cell. He promptly escaped from the restraints, and collected testimonials from the ranking officers. The Houdini Eclipsing Sensation poster is an artists rendering of this famous performer. It was produced by the Russell-Morgan Lithograph Company in 1906, just as Harry was beginning his contract with the Keith Circuit in the United States. It features a strong, thirty-two-year-old Harry Houdini in the center with his signature handcuffs and leg shackles. Although some of the handcuffs exhibit a certain artistic license, most of them can be identified as actual pieces used by Houdini. The upper left handcuffs are classic English Darby handcuffs made by Hiatt. The second from the top left image shows a Siberian Chain escape. The second from the bottom left represents a collection of three Berliner cuffs, plus two unknowns. The bottom left handcuffs are Russian manacles. The upper right image shows a Bean Giant. The second image from the top on the right shows three German Berliner cuffs plus two unknowns from a different angle. The second from the bottom image shows a custom made handcuff that Houdini called a Hungarian Manacle. It is also known as a Houdini Sance Handcuff, because it was used by the late Sid Radner at his annual Houdini sances. The lower right image shows unknown cuffs, but the upper three seem to be Darbies. Houdini was a master showman and one of the greatest selfpromoters of all time. This poster shows the entire world that nothing on earth could hold him back from his success. Lupe Nielsen References: Thanks to Dixie Dooley and the books by Kenneth Silverman and Patrick Culliton for their assistance in the research for this article.

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Just One Coin
Hello, and welcome to the antepenultimate column in Basic Training. This month I want to talk about one of my favorite types of routine, and in the process we will be incorporating several of the moves and sleights that we have learned over the past three years. Im going to be discussing the One Coin Routine something that I consider to be one of the more useful skills to have in your repertoire. Even if you are a diehard card magician (and I know a few of those), its lovely to be able to do something magical with the most ubiquitous of objects: a coin. (And, if you can do the routine with a borrowed coin, so much the better.) With that in mind, we will start off by working out exactly what constitutes a good routine, and then discuss how to develop one for yourselves. After that, Ill describe my routine and explain how it came about, and why things happen in that order. Well also learn a couple of new moves to go with the ones we already know. we learned in July 2009 we know that the start position is with a coin held at fingertips and the end position has the coin on Hang Point. A French drop (March 2009) begins with the coin flat on the fingers and ends in finger palm of the other hand. Write these all down in three columns and study them for a bit. Heres the fun bit: look for connectors moves that start where another leaves off. For example, if the French drop ends in finger palm and the Ramsay subtlety production (October 2010) starts with a coin in finger palm, then these moves fall naturally together, and you have a combination move. See how many combinations you can find in your group of sleights, and make note of them on another piece of paper. Now you get to look for the second level combinations, and soon you will be able to string three or four moves together without having to think too much. This is where your routine will develop playing around with a coin, trying out the different permutations of moves and discovering what feels good. Youll be surprised at how easy it is to string together a short routine and then instinctively know when something just doesnt fit. (About sixteen years ago I wrote some spoof dealer copy for a post on a mailing list called the Electronic Grimoire. One of the items was for the Ultimate One Coin Routine twenty seven minutes of commercial magic. Supply your own half dollar. This is where the idea came from) Why should you make your own routine? Well, apart from standing out from the crowd, its much more satisfying to work things out according to your taste and ability. Its also good to study what has gone before, and thats why Im about to explain my routine. Take what fits for you and then mash things together. There are many routines out there, most notably from Slydini and David Roth, but not everyone can carry off Slydinis mannerisms and slavishly copying them would be jarring. Its best to study, comprehend, and then apply the new knowledge to your own combinations.

First Steps
Before we start the heavy lifting part of the column, lets take a moment to think about the subject; what is a one coin routine and why should we bother with it? At its core, the answer should be simple its a magical routine that uses a single coin. Boo-yah. However, things can go deeper than that if we choose to dig. As I mentioned at the top, I believe that this type of magic is the kind of thing that real people like to see. Magic with money has the type of presentation hook for which we search; when we find such a hook the results can be wonderful. Along with pick a card, the ability to make a coin disappear is ingrained into the image that laymen have of magicians that and tigers, of course. A couple of months ago, on a private Web forum, a pertinent question was asked, Is a coin flurry simply a case of hide the coin? Its a valid point, and it attracted answers from some of the top coin magicians in the world. Like most discussions, there was no real right answer or consensus, but its good to keep this in the back of your mind while you are developing your own routine (or even learning one from print). I like to present the effect as what happened to the coin rather than a simple case of hide and seek, but well get more into that later.

Something Old
So you can follow on, you have some homework to do. If youve not already learned them, you will want to be proficient with: the false transfer (July 2009), classic and finger palms (September 2010), heel palm steal (November 2009), and the muscle pass (September 2011). You might also want to play around with the French drop and Sleeving, but thats just for your own routine!

Sleights and How to Use Them

Obviously, the most important thing when you are working with a single coin is to have a good arsenal of sleights: different vanishes, reproductions, and aquitments. Add to that a couple of penetrations and we are good to go. You can start by making a list of all the coin sleights you know; list next to them the start and end positions of each. For example, if we look at the false transfer that

Something New
There are a few new moves that I have to discuss quickly

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before we look at the routine in detail. Luckily, they are not too hard, and if you can handle the list above, youll have no problems at all. The first two are penetrations.

Through the Fist 1

This is a fun move to do, and Im often surprised at its efficacy on people (probably because it seems so obvious to me). The coin is displayed on the palm of my left hand (remember that Im a lefty, so feel free to use your right hand if you like to be different), in position for the heel palm steal. The fist is closed, and turned over so that the back of the hand is uppermost. My right hand comes over to rest on the back of my left fist, which makes a short, sharp upward jerk, releasing the coin from the heel clip. If you turn your wrist every so slightly when you do this, the coin will fly up into the palm of your right hand, which has lifted half an inch or so from your fist, and then is immediately pressed onto the top of your fist when everything comes back into place. Lift your right hand to show that the coin has penetrated the back of the hand.

Through the Fist 2

This next move is one of my favorites. It was published a couple of years ago in Genii magazine; David Acer named it Stigmata, but Ive always called it Coin through Hand. I wont mind if you call it Stigmata. Its a very visual way to push a coin through the back of your hand in full view. Start by holding the coin at the nine oclock position with finger and thumb of your left hand. Your right fist is closed, and held up at chest height while the left hand holds the coin above it. There is a three count involved here. The coin is tapped on the back of the hand twice; this is done by simply rotating the wrist the arm does not move (Photos 1 and 2). On the third count, just as the coin comes down, the middle finger contacts the front side of the coin and pulls it back into a snapback vanish so that it is hidden behind the index finger (Photo 3). The left hand continues its path down, and the tip of the index finger and the side of the first phalange of the middle finger touch

the back of the fist (which provides yet more cover for the missing coin). Give this a try in front of the mirror; although it reads a tad strange the illusion is pretty darn good. Pause for a second; we are going to load the coin into the fist in a variation of the LHomme Masqu load. Loosen your fist a tiny amount, not enough to be noticeable, but enough to open up the hole at your thumb crotch. The left hand does not move as the fist rotates below it, and just as the thumb is pointing straight up, the coin is dropped into the hole and is caught by the curled fingers. Without stopping, the fist turns palm up and opens to display the coin in your hand.

LHomme Masqu Load

The who? LHomme Masqu was a magician from the 19th century whose identity was never really known, thanks to his bizarre superhero-type face mask. He did, however, perform some exquisite sleight of hand, and this is just one example. Its a way of loading a coin into your fist quickly and invisibly, and its very useful for the type of routine were discussing. The coin begins in a classic palm, while your receiving hand is open and palm up, with the loaded hand an inch or so in front of the fingers. This hand now sweeps back towards the opposite wrist, as if to close the open fingers into a fist. As soon as the palmed coin is over the fingertips it is released and drops just as the fingers close into a fist. Its a timing thing so remember to take things slowly at first and make sure that you are getting the drop of the coin at the right spot before you begin to speed up. Once the fist is closed, the upper hand reverses its action and the fingers of the closed fist open up to reveal the coin on the palm.

Something Borrowed
Another move that I will sometimes drop into my routine is Jay Sankeys Slick Splits. Those of you who are familiar with Jays prolific output will remember this from Richards Almanac (page 356 in the hardbound edition), and, more to the point, that it uses two coins. There is a reason, and it will become more apparent in a moment. In the meantime, get hold of a second coin that is the same as the one you are using, and classic palm it. The other coin is shown at the fingertips of your open hand. Call attention to the face of the coin, and then flip it over onto the base of your fingers. This is easy to do by just curling your fingers in quickly. Show the other side of the coin, and then reach over to pick it up; this move usefully places the palmed coin directly over the right fingertips, where it is deposited, hidden by the back of the left hand. The upper hand now takes the coin from the base of the fingers, but as it moves the lower hand turns slightly inwards and hits its coin against the first. This makes a good clicking sound as the upper hand turns slightly away from you. Remember to grip

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the second coin with your thumb as it comes into view, and the illusion is that one coin has been snapped from the other. (Photo 4 shows the three steps of the production.) Again, start slowly, and when you get up to speed youll have a very nice production to use. Everyone say, Thanks, Jay. slightly different form). Begin by having two coins in your pocket. Hang on, why two coins? We thought this was a lesson on one-coin routines. Thanks for asking, heres why: Some of the time I will end the first phase of the routine with Jays Slick Splits (which we just looked at). This requires two coins, hence the second coin. But thats not the main reason that I carry two coins; if you are working at a function and for some reason you drop one of your coins, you absolutely do not want to be scrabbling around under the table in the middle of your set, and even worse, you dont want the guests to be doing this either (and I know this from bitter experience). Its better to let the coin go, carry on with your spare, and recover the coin later when the room is clear. If you are working with silver Morgan dollars, then Ill understand your desire to crawl around on the floor, but if you use half dollars then, meh, its just fifty cents. Let it go. I introduce the coin and perform The Coin that Falls Up effect. Ive already had a mini rant about this move last month, so Ill gloss over it for now. Suffice to say that I still believe that twelve inches is the minimum distance you should have before you show this move to any real people.

The First Vanish

I perform standing ninety percent of the time, so after the coin has fallen up for the second time I turn to someone on my right (because I am left handed) and say, If I take the coin into my hand and I execute a very simple false transfer, not really looking at my hand. My left hand drops to my side and classic palms the coin while I move the right hand forward and out to the right by no more than a couple of inches. This serves two purposes: its a forward-moving action that will draw attention away from my dirty hand while I am palming the coin, and I watch everyones head move as they follow the hand. This is a wonderful signal to me that they have believed the deception. If I dont see someones head move, I know that they are skeptical and will block my moves accordingly. Also, at this point theres a good chance that the spectator has misheard me, and instead of hearing If I take the coin in my hand they hear Take the coin and will hold out her hand towards my closed fist. This is another wonderful moment, because it shows that she is convinced that the coin is in the hand. I continue with and give it a squeeze, it vanishes, as I rub the fingers against the base of my thumb and open the hand to show it empty. If the spectators have shown me that they are convinced, then this is a mind blowing moment; even if they havent, its still an impressive vanish. (And please dont underestimate how effective this vanish is for real people done properly it is amazing.)

Somthing Blue
The Danube, so Im told (but Ive not seen it myself). The bad guys in Yellow Submarine. The musical output of Chicago. Rondo a la Turk. The list is almost endless, but another blue thing is Sky Thinking. This is annoying corporate speak for thinking about things in an abstract way, so that you are not constrained by conventional opinions. Its also a good way to construct your routines, even if you discard ninety percent of what you write down. Heres an example to get you started: One of the debates on the subject of one-coin routines is whether to produce a coin magically, or to just take one from your pocket. There are very strong points to be made for each side, and its a personal choice. For my part, I will usually take a coin from my pocket if working close-up, but for stage work Ill produce the coin from a purse frame. It really comes down to how you want to project yourself, and whether or not you can get to a coin surreptitiously before the routine starts!

Ians One Coin Routine

Right, lets have a look at my routine. This came into being in its first incarnation around 1993, and by 1995 it was pretty much locked down. The second phase was added around 2003, but well see how that fits together in a moment. Since it was forged in the fire of restaurant work, it should come as no surprise that it is modular, and can finish at any point, just in case the food arrives halfway through. I perform it at about ninety-five percent of my close-up sets, and a similar number of my stage shows (in a

Ping Pong
Now comes the fun bit, and it happens a lot more than you would think. If you are worried about the effectiveness of the false transfer and expect people to say, Its in your other hand! then this might just drag you over to the dark side. The spectators will go through a head movement that looks like a tennis match: they look at your open palm for a second (or more if they have been convinced), then down at your other hand. Since you have palmed the coin and your hand is at your side in a natural position, theres nothing to see. They then look back to your open hand, and then

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up to your eyes. During this you stay fairly motionless, looking into their eyes, waiting for them to look at you. Dont rush, and dont have any guilt. Enjoy the look in their eyes as they finally look up at you. and that there is only one coin in play.

First Ending
If I am in a hurry, I will end there, sometimes doing Jays Slick Splits. I place the coin back into my pocket while I talk about people asking about the coin I use, and I classic palm it while I bring the second coin out at fingertips, ready for the Slick Splits move. After the second coin is produced the coins are placed away.

First Reproduction
Now its time to bring the coin back. Depending on whether I have an awkward spectator and where they might be in the group, I have a couple of options. A lot of the time I will use John Bannons hand wiping move from Impossibilia: The dirty hand comes over to the open palm-up hand and places its thumb at the very middle of the bottom of the hand, fingers underneath. It now runs up the hand to the very end of the middle finger, and both hands turn palm down. Using the Kaps subtlety the palmed coin is hidden from view and both hands are shown convincingly empty. This sequence is not required, and you should be aware of the angles; if you have anyone immediately to the side opposite to your palmed coin (my right) you should probably skip this bit. Regardless of whether I do the hand wipe or not, I then reproduce the coin using the LHomme Masqu load.

Second (Longer) Ending.

If I am working for a standing group I will often continue with this sequence. I offer to show the penetration again. I make a false transfer of the coin into my right hand and classic palm the coin in my left. I make a sharp upward jerk with the fist as I drop the coin from classic palm onto the back timed correctly the coin will fly higher into the air and for all intents and purposes it looks as if the coin simply melts up through the back of the hand. I catch the coin in my left hand, and prepare for the Stigmata/Coin through Fist. This looks to be the reverse of the previous move and the end image of the coin on the flat palm is a nice end to the routine. (To be honest, I finish with another move, but I dont have permission to teach it here, so Im forced to keep it to myself. Sorry.)

First Penetration
Now I do the Through the Fist, the first penetration. At the moment, my body direction is towards my right (following Tamarizs ideas on eye lines and feet positions). I need to address someone on my left, so I turn my head to the left as I turn the left hand palm up and toss the coin onto my left hand, near the back of the hand. I say, I if take the coin here People think that I am repeating the previous move, so what will happen comes as a bigger surprise. As I place my other hand flat over the back of the fist I say, and I give it a shake... Now I do the jerking action and I lift my hand from the fist, showing the coin now sitting on top. I say it comes up through the hand. To clean up, I put my right hand palm up under the fist and rotate the left hand so that the fingers are upwards, which slides the coin into my waiting hand below. I open the fist to show that the coin is no longer there,

Final Thoughts
So, that should give you something to play with for this month. I wouldnt recommend that you do my routine word for word (although it is a nice workhorse piece). Study it, and run through it a few times, and then add it to your list of sleights. See what combinations you can come up with, and then you can see your own routine develop, which is a wonderful thing. It takes time; dont expect to have something locked in by next month. The first phase of mine took over two years to settle, and the second phase didnt happen for almost a decade. Its an enjoyable journey, and every time you learn a new move you can add it to your list and see how it can fit in. I look forward to seeing what you come up with; in the meantime have fun and Ill see you next month.

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Chuck Gekas
Born and raised in Chicago, Chuck Gekas enjoyed watching magic when he was a kid. One summer vacation, when he was fourteen, a distant relative taught him some magic, including how to back palm a half dollar. Young Chuck then spent the next two weeks of his vacation practicing that particular sleight until he had it mastered. The magic hook had been set. When he returned to school he went to the library, as Chuck put it, to 793.8 (the Dewey Decimal System location where the magic books were kept); he checked out as many magic books as he could. In early 1975, his father showed him an article in the newspaper that mentioned Bill Dumbaugh becoming the S.A.M. national president and how Chicago Assembly 3 met once a month. He attended the next meeting, and in 1975 became a member of the Assembly 3. Chuck is also a log-time member of Assembly 148, The Jay Marshall Assembly. During his first S.A.M. assembly meeting, Chuck met a magician named Bob Sharpe. Bob had actually performed in vaudeville and soon became his mentor. Our family adopted him as a surrogate grandfather; Bob joined us for many holidays, Chuck said. In 1982 Bob passed away at the age of eightyfour, but he had a great influence on me as both a magician and a person. Bob was a good friend of David Copperfield, who he introduced to me a couple of times. We even had dinner once at the 1975 convention in Chicago. Chicago is huge magic town; Chuck

says that he was fortunate to have learned something from many top performers such as Jim Ryan, Bill Dumbaugh, John Shirley, Jay Marshall, Bill Malone, and Jim Krenz. Another advantage to living in Chicago was the ability to go to Jay Marshalls magic shop, Magic Inc., every few weeks. In 1986-87 Chuck was the president of the Assembly 3. Prior to this he was active in the assemblys annual Top Hat Festival, which was a two-day convention that was held for several years. We would bring in top lecturers such as Michael Ammar, Bob Little, Rocco, John Cornelius, Chris Kenner, and several dealers including Hank Moorehouse. Chuck attended Northern Illinois University for his undergraduate degree, which was in journalism with an emphasis in advertising. He then went on to earn his Masters Degree from DePaul University in liberal studies (executive concentration). After college Chuck went on to pursue a successful career in advertising sales and management, with twenty years in the newspaper/magazine industry, including fifteen years with the Sun-Times. For the past ten years he has headed the sales and client services department for Data Based Ads, an advertising agency serving the real estate industry. For over three years Chuck has been actively involved in an organization called Open Heart Magic, which provides bedside magic for children in several Chicago area hospitals. Performing and teaching magic for these kids has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my over thirty-five years in magic. Each trick we perform has been carefully selected to not only entertain patients and their visiting family members, but to empower these kids. For example: they decide if they want to see magic; they make the card change colors; they multiply sponge balls. After each visit, based on the patient, I select an effect to teach them and to give them something like the ball in vase trick. Chuck says that he enjoys watching all types of magic, but prefers stand-up and close-up. Some of his favorite per-

formers include Michael Ammar, Lance Burton, Mac King, and his friend Bill Malone.

Ring-Knot Penetration By Chuck Gekas

This is an interesting effect. A knot is tied in the middle of a piece of rope. A ring is then threaded onto the rope and is seen hanging next to the knot. The hands now pull the ends of the rope sharply apart, and the ring is instantly tied onto the knot. This is not a difficult trick to do; it gives a strong, visual impression of the ring penetrating onto the knot. The effect often elicits gasps from Chucks spectators. To perform, tie a slip knot in the rope in the following manner. Cross the end of the rope in your right hand over the end in your left hand. Now place your right hand through the loop that you have created and pull the end of the rope that was originally in your left hand through the loop (Photo 1). As you are doing this action, your left middle finger catches the rope at the point marked A in Photo 1. This will produce a bight (Photo 2). If you continue pulling the rope while keeping hold with your left middle finger, a slip knot will be created (Photo 3).

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the count of three, you switch the ends of the rope and quickly pull. This switch is fairly easy to do. Hold the rope with your palms facing up, leaving a few inches of rope sticking out. The left hand positions the end of the rope away from your body and the right hand positions the end towards your body (Photo 5). As the hands come together for the third time, the index and middle fingers of each hand grab the end

4 5
For the ring you can either use a large ring, if performing at a kids birthday, or you can borrow a ring from a spectator. Thread the ring onto the rope and let it hang next to the knot (Photo 4). Explain that the only way for the ring to appear inside the knot is to untie the knot, place the ring on the rope, and tie a new knot onto the ring. However, with this very special piece of rope, all you have to do is count to three and the ring will magically penetrate the knot. You can have the volunteer lead the count, and on the count of three he says a magic word. As you count, move your hands towards each other and then move them apart. As your hands come together on

From here you can hand the ensemble to the volunteer so he can verify that the ring is indeed inside the knot.

Steves Stuff:
of rope from the opposite hand (Photo 6) and pull sharply. This sharp pull will accomplish two things: It will take out the fake knot, while at the same time placing a new knot around the ring (Photos 7 and 8 show this action). This is a quick and fun effect to perform. It will fit nicely into any ring and rope routine that you currently perform. It could also be used with a finger ring and string. The nice part is that the ring and string can be handed out afterwards and the spectator will have to untie the knot to get the ring off the rope. Chuck reminded me that the string needs to be pulled sharply to ensure that the slip knot comes out, leaving only the real knot.

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OCTOBER 2011 39

Can You Hear My Prediction Now?

Since the invention of the telephone, magicians have racked their brains on how the device could be used as a magic prop. In the early days, many phone calls were made to the wizard. iPhone apps are the perfect vehicle for magic phone calls. Weve reviewed a couple in the past. Here are two more.

If you have the app iForce (one of the earliest successful magic apps), youll be happy to know that Grigor Rostami has another winner on his hands. This effect will not only fool laymen, but it will make magicians scratch their heads. The magician talks about a psychic that he recently met, and he shows the spectators her card. A spectator holds on to the business card while the magician asks the spectator to name any playing card. The spectator is now asked to call Esmeralda (the psychic) either on the magicians phone or his own phone. A call is made to Esmeralda the Psychic, but shes not at home; the spectator gets her voicemail, which ends with her mentioning the selected card. What I really like about this version is that Rostami has worked out every flaw and tell of this type of method and has figured out how to hide them. Its a perfect trick. He also has a place on the Web for you to print out the psychics business card on your own printer. Understand that you are making an actual call to Los Angeles, California, so watch your phone minutes, because you will be performing this effect a lot! Of course, if the spectator decides to use her phone, it is no cost to you. It looks so perfect and clean. iPredict for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is $2.99 at the iTunes store.

on. When the other boxes are opened, they contain garbage. The spectators box contains a gift card to a restaurant. As a bonus, the app has a second trick, Food For Thought, which can be performed while you are waiting for food at a restaurant. The magician hands the spectator a card with the phone number for Eddies Diner. The spectator selects an edible item on the restaurant table. It can be something like the salt, ketchup, bread, etc. The spectator calls the diner, and Eunice the waitress tells him what item he selected. Through the years Ive had a lot of fun with Meal or No Meal, and I have really fooled a lot of people with Food For Thought. I know it will become one of your favorites, too. The duo is called Meal Magic Tricks and can be found in the iTunes Store for $2.99.

Psychic Button Light

This is not a magic trick, per se, but it can be turned into one easily. This is just a big green button that when pressed, will answer with the responses YES, NO, MAYBE, or ASK AGAIN. You control how it answers based on what part of the button you press. The lite version has the answers shown above. The paid version allows you to input whatever answers youd like to reveal. This is a good utility for all sorts of ideas. Psychic Button Lite is free and Psychic Button is 99 cents at the iTunes Store.

iDevice Music Goes Forte

Past President Mark Weidhaas called me a few weeks ago seeking my advice on a good, portable speaker for his iPad. The little round Altec Lansing inMotion that I recommended in the past was fine for close-up or birthday parties but not loud enough for a larger room. I immediately recommended the Creative D100 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. About the size of a small loaf of bread, this rich-sounding speaker works with Bluetooth technology, allowing you to have the iPad with you on stage and the speaker located in the back of the room. Set the Bluetooth of your iPad/iPod Touch/ iPhone on, pair it up with the speaker, and you can send your music to the speaker wirelessly. If you have an early iPod or other mp3 player without Bluetooth capability, there is a wire for you to plug in. This speaker is perfect for a classroom, a living room, or a meeting room. It is available in a variety of colors, including the magicians favorite, black. It works with batteries or you can plug it in with the included adapter. The price is $75 and it is available at Amazon.com at J&R Music (www.jr.com). Bruce is always on the lookout for computer magic, iPhone/ iPod Touch apps, and tech toys that can be used in magic applications. If you have any suggestions for future columns, write to Bruce at SAMtalkBruce@cox.net.

Meal Magic
In the Bruce Kalver presidential issue of M-U-M, I published a stage effect called Meal or No Meal. If you wanted to perform that effect, you had to download an mp3 file that you had to then upload to your phone. Well, the effect was a natural to turn into an app, so I did. I call it Meal Magic Tricks. Its a fun routine with lots of interaction between the magician and the recorded voice. Nine actual lunch boxes (or paper bags) are placed in a 3 x 3 grid in front of the spectator. Each box is labeled from one to nine. A phone call is made to Eddies Diner, and Eunice, the waitress, walks you through a routine in which the spectator moves his hand from box to box. Eunice tells you which untouched boxes to remove. In the end, Eunice tells you which box you have landed

OCTOBER 2011 43

A Colorful Homage to Magics Past by Bruce Kalver, PNP

In less than four minutes, this magician has amazed, entertained, and completely baffled me. Am I describing something from Robert Houdin, Thurston, or Chung Ling Soo? No, I am speaking of Margaret Steele and her Cornucopia of Silks. Steele is a modern day magician who bows to the magical arts of the past masters while giving her presentations a taste of her own charm.


Early Years
Margaret Steele grew up in Virginia and South Carolina; her father was a college professor who taught biochemical engineering and her mother was a scientist who became a technical writer to help her husband with his books. By age eight, Margaret had seen some school magic shows and wanted to learn magic, but she didnt know how. She found a couple of books in the library but never met a magician or visited a magic shop. She did learn a Ring and String trick and a few self-working card tricks. Margaret attended Juilliard majoring in the oboe. She graduated with a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Performance, and eventually became a professional musician, playing in orchestras in symphony halls, with woodwind quintets, and in Broadway theaters in New York City. Shes worked with lots of musicians. When the New York Philharmonic is broadcast on television, I look to see who I know in the orchestra. Being in an orchestra is a stressful job. I used to get so nervous at auditions. I could play anything they put in front of me, but I would tense up at auditions. I spent hours making reeds and would often sight-read performances without rehearsals. When you work at this level, messing up is not an option. I remember playing in the orchestra for Rod Stewart at Madison Square Garden. I was called in at the last minute because the oboe player had been injured the night before. The show began with me sight-reading an oboe solo in front of 17,000 people! It was surreal.

On The Road to Magic

Margarets passion eventually turned from music to magic. I was playing a wedding with some friends in upstate New York; after the gig we decided to relax at a little honkytonk club called Jarvis Boones. It had singing waiters and waitresses; customers often got up and showed off their talents. A magician got up and performed; he was unbelievable. He did things with masks, feathers, and cards. The magician was Jeff McBride. Margaret and her friends had just completed a classical-fusion music CD. Margaret walked over to Jeff and his entourage and introduced herself; she gave him a copy of her CD, which she explained

Photo by Peter Sharp

The act begins with such a simple setting: a small table with vines growing freely around the metal stand. A small chest sits on the stand. The magician folds a sheet of thin, almost translucent paper into a cone. Suddenly, small colorful silk scarves bloom out of the cone, overflowing to such an extent that the magician cant hold them all. The silks fall from the cone into the chest. The cone is opened to remove the last of the scarves. The cone is refolded, and once again it instantly fills with even more scarves, which burst even larger than the first. It is a fruitless effort to try to contain the silks in the chest; they overflow onto the table and the floor. The paper is once again folded and, much like the brooms in The Sorcerers Apprentice, the scarves fly out of the cone, multiplying in number, creating a snowstorm of such colorful beauty that you would not mind shoveling this rainbow blizzard. 44 M-U-M Magazine

Margarets first magic show

might be perfect music for his act. They talked for a few minutes and went their separate ways. Surprisingly, Jeff contacted her and the magic bug hit her again. Margaret started hanging out at Jeff McBrides Pyramid, a space that Jeff lived in and shared as a theater/workshop/ rehearsal space. I had an oboe friend who was living with magician Mark Phillips, who began teaching me magic. He was a fantastic teacher and first taught me how to become a close-up magician. He taught me coin magic, the Gypsy Thread, sponge bunnies some good solid routines. Richard Kaufman was a friend of Marks, so he gave me various books to read to help me along. Mark then took Margaret to various places to see magicians perform. She remembers going to a trade show to watch and admire Paul Gertner.

sure they did. Margaret decided to add a little magic to the presentation: subtle things like pulling an egg out of the bell of her oboe. Then she pulled a mouth coil out of her reed. Other tricks were added; she eventually put down the instrument and became the narrator, performing magic to keep the students attention. Woodwind Wizardry was born, and for many years it was on the education roster for various symphony orchestras. I did so many shows. The problem was that there was not a lot of money to pay me. I was being paid as another musician, but I had to get to the gigs an hour ahead of time to set up all my props. There would always be two or three shows a day; while everyone was out having bagels and coffee, Id be in the auditorium resetting the act. She also performed at childrens parties during the day and at night played the oboe for such shows as Wicked, Beauty and the Beast, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, and Phantom of the Opera. For many years, she filled in at various shows. When you are asked to play for shows like this, you cant just phone it in. You have to focus on doing a great job. This is the same way Margaret approaches her magic.

A Life of Mostly Magic

Around this time, Margaret hung out at the club Mostly Magic in New York, where she watched and absorbed all the magic that was being performed. Someone suggested to her that she put together a linking ring routine, because that trick can be performed anywhere. Peter Samelson coached her on some special moves and Bob Fitch gave the links and unlinks a justification. At the time, Bob was appearing in The Will Rogers Follies on Broadway, so her coaching was held between performances on matinee days in the basement of the theater. Her ring routine (based on a piece of music titled Solving a Dream) is about the fact that in dreams things do not work out the way they do in real life. Someone also suggested that she put together a solid billiard ball routine. The first Monday of every month was audition night at Mostly Magic. I tried out my routines every month for a year. Imam, the owner of the club, finally hired me and put me on the show. It was great working at Mostly Magic because it gave me a chance to hone my act. Then I started getting some good work.

Margaret was living in the world of music and the world of magic. I saw how disconnected the magic world was to the real world of professional performing. She sees now that there are more and more young magicians who realize that they need to study theatre arts to improve their magic. To Margaret, music and magic are tightly related. Both magic and music are a sculpture in time. They both have a beginning, a middle, and an end. They both have a form and a shape. They both have a pulse and a beat. They have the smaller parts that come together as a whole. Margaret actually practiced magic with a metronome to help with pacing. Margaret has always been interested in history; when she started learning magic she looked into women magicians of the past. The only book about women in magic was Frances Marshalls book Those Beautiful Dames, which highlighted Dell ODell, Celeste Evans, and Suzy Wandas, among others. All of them had full-page descriptions. In that book, Adelaide Herrmann was covered by a small picture and a caption. Other books told Margaret that Adelaide took over the show when her husband died, and she toured for thirty years. Because of the lack of details, Margaret thought of her as a lightweight who people didnt take seriously.

With Jeff McBride At this point in time, Margaret moved to New Jersey and found a bizarre little restaurant near her house called Cafe Enigma. It was an ice cream parlor with a dcor like crystal caves. It was dimly lit, and you couldnt see any other table from your table. Margaret offered to do table magic for tips and they agreed. Six months after I started taking magic lessons, I had a job. She worked there four nights a week; by the end of the summer she had done over five hundred shows. I was booking parties, but I had a very small repertoire. In the fall, Margaret was part of a woodwind quintet that performed music at schools. They presented classical music to elementary students, who were completely bored with the performances. Five hundred kids would come in pretty sure that they hated classical music; when the performance was over, they were absolutely

Cornucopia of Fates
The path to her current act was a series of fateful events that just fell into her lap. Nothing was plotted or proposed; it just happened.

With Eugene Burger 2011 In 1994, during Jeff McBrides Mystery School, Eugene Burger took Margaret by the hand and in his deep, resonant voice said, I have an idea for you, my dear. When Eugene was a

OCTOBER 2011 45

teenage magician in Chicago, he won a magic contest; the prize was to appear on a show with professional magicians. One of the performers on the show was a magician from Finland named Julius Sundman. Sundman did a silk production with a cornucopia. The act was so beautiful that Eugene never forgot it. At this time, Sundman was very old and would soon be retiring. Eugene realized that it would be a shame if this act was never seen again, but thought that the act was not right for his own performing persona, so he mentally filed it away. Through the years, Eugene told other female magicians about the act, but they brushed it off and never did anything with it. Eugene and Margaret decided to make this a research project to see where it led. Margaret began calling the senior magicians from that time to see what they remembered; all used the same word to describe the Sundman cornucopia act spectacular. The act used hundreds and hundreds of silks. They all used another word baffling. Eugene stumbled across a video of Sundman on The Bozo Show presenting the cone routine. Looking at it, Margaret did not like the method. It seemed too obvious. The trick was beautiful, but not impossible. From this video, Eugene and Margaret figured out a better way to present it. They contacted Joe Jacobi, a silk maker, who, along with his wife CJ, was put to the task of making the hundreds of silks needed for this presentation. Margaret debuted the act at the next Mystery School in 1995, which took place at a Buddhist monastery, a former estate of Harriet Beecher Stowe in upstate New York. What was the reaction? Eugene cried. Personally, I thought the act was a mess, but the

finale is just so spectacular and so symbolic and moving that no matter what else happens, you get an emotional reaction every time. After Mystery School, she performed it a second time at a theater in Kingston, New York, and the routine got the same reaction. Margaret kept working at it, honing the presentation. It misfired a lot in the beginning. Its not an easy piece to do. The greatest difficulty is precisely controlling the various productions of the silks. Right from the beginning, Eugene Burger told Margaret that to perform this routine successfully she had to get some coaching from Bob Fitch. Bob directed me in two ways. He taught me basic stage movement, such as walking on stage, making sure everything is seen by the audience, standing properly. Then we worked for hours on every aspect to get the timing just right. We worked on the angles, on how to hold something just right. Margaret also learned how to frame her face and how to control the way the audience scans the stage to make the effect stronger. Bob and I have a very symbiotic relationship. We can start spinning on an idea and both contribute to its creation. A routine like this is a group effort; it is a continuous work in progress. It was Joe Jacobi, the silk maker and magician, who came up with a handsfree method for the final load. The breakthrough for some of the loads came when Margaret saw something in a camping store that would make the release method work. Bob really helped with the overall piece, the dramatic flow, and all the tiny little details. Character and persona also helped define what I was trying to say in the piece. Margaret owns two sets of silks for the act. Working the Magic Castle, she realized that the hour and a half it takes to set the act was not practical for the four-a-night shows. If she has back-toback shows she has two sets prepared and hopes for low humidity. In this writers opinion, the Cornucopia routine finally came together at the 100th Salute to Magic in New York City. This annual show is presented by Parent Assembly 1. I had been working on the routine for fifteen years at that point. It was the only thing I did
Photo by APeter Sharp

on the show, which allowed me to just focus on that act. I also finally figured out how to make the handling really deceptive, clean, and smooth. Bob Fitch was one of the emcees; when he saw how Margaret had reworked the routine, he was blown away. Margarets mother had passed away just a few months before the show; the cornucopia presentation became a dialogue between her and her mother. This was the breakthrough that made it Margarets signature piece. Choosing the music for the Cornucopia was not an easy task. At first she commissioned a friend to write a song for her, but it just wasnt strong enough. Margaret realized that she needed a piece of music that had a big Hollywood ending. Thinking about it, she remembered a piece written by Ravel, but the

46 M-U-M Magazine

Photo by Anne White

Photo by Paul Pearson

part she was thinking of was in the middle of a movement and didnt last long enough. Then she recalled the spectacular finale of an orchestral work by Ravel that shed once played the Mother Goose ballet. Ravel was one of the greatest orchestrators of all times; the pallet of colors in his music is extreme and perfect for this effect. The music slowly builds with each measure, but never fully builds to a climax until the end. Perfect. When Eugene Burger was asked if he had any comments about Margaret, he said, Other than the fact that I love her? I suggested the Cornucopia routine to Margaret because I knew that she would bring a certain esthetic to the piece. I knew that with Margarets music background, she would be able to frame this piece in a much more fabulous way... and she did! Back in 2000, Margaret was booked to perform at the 75th anniversary of the Oakland Magic Circle in California. James Hamilton was on that show. Margaret did her three-piece act, and at the end of the show James came up to her with tears in his eyes and said, I feel that Adelaide Herrmann has just come back to life to perform for me. A recognized authority on Adelaide Herrmann, James had just written a cover story on her for Genii magazine. James gave Margaret a copy of the magazine and it was then that she realized that Adelaide was deserving of more than just a photo and a caption. There is no film of Adelaide Herrmann presenting the cornucopia, so we dont know for sure how similar the presentations are. We do have a scrap of description of her act from a disgruntled employee. An assistant stole some jewelry from Adelaide and professed innocence, blaming the Herrmanns pet goose. The goose was killed (much to the dismay of Adelaide), but no jewelry was found. The assistant was discovered pawning the jewelry. Adelaide was an animal lover and was furious. She had the assistant arrested; he was sent to jail for eighteen months in Detroit. While in jail, the assistant brought in a reporter and spilled his guts on

all the secrets of the Herrmann show, including Adelaides Cone of Flowers. Adelaide used flowers, not silks for her presentation. From this exposure, Margaret learned that the method that she had been using for

years was very similar to Adelaides. The original idea was invented by De Kolta, who also invented the spring flowers. De Kolta kept the flowers a secret until one night when a couple of magicians sat in the front row and a few of flowers fell off the stage and landed in their laps. Is Margaret doing Adelaide Herrmanns billiard ball routine? Hers was a simple production of four balls followed by their disappearance. Adelaides performance was very slow and deliberate. People today dont have the patience for that. I dont copy or recreate her. What I do is an homage to her. I also do not have the menagerie of animals that she had: lots of birds, cats, dogs, and geese. If it werent for Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, James Hamilton, and Bob Fitch, this act would not have come into existence. Indefatigable is how Bob Fitch describes Margaret. No matter what she starts, she finishes it...and its not just finished, its usually a work of art. She has great energy, talent, resourcefulness, and persistence. Bob wonders if she ever sleeps. Obviously, Im a fan. I love beautiful magic. Hers is certainly a road to discovery, and what she discovers can enchant us all...it is a

totally magical experience. When I asked Jeff McBride about Margaret Steele, he quoted Dr. Timothy Leary, Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition. I dont think Margaret ever considered herself to be a woman magician...She is a magician. Even the name Steele gives you a clue to her strength and resistance when it comes to working in a male dominated field like magic. I asked about his first impressions of Margarets Cornucopia act, which debuted at Mystery School: It was as polished a presentation, and as deceptive a method, as any of the works in progress at that years conference. One of the things that Jeff McBride admires about Margaret is that she listens to creative input and feedback. Thats what makes her a capital M Magician. Im eager to see what new wonders she has been working on; Im sure that audiences will be delighted in her full evening show.

Finding the Lost Book

After meeting James Hamilton in 2000, Margaret decided to do her own research on Adelaide Herrmann. When Alexander Herrmann passed away, Adelaide summoned her nephew from France to work on the show. After a few years and many disagreements, they parted ways and Adelaide became the only female magician. She wasnt, of course, but she was by far the most famous. Just by looking at her photos, I realized that I was going down the same costuming path that she was. Women have more opportunities with costumes than men do. I started studying her costumes and realized that long sleeves were used to block certain areas from the audiences view, thus angle-proofing her billiard balls routine. Margaret took a trip to the Lincoln Center Librarys Billy Rose Theatre Collection to see if they had anything on Adelaide. They handed me an envelope with the title Locke Collection 694. I opened

OCTOBER 2011 47

it up and all these little crumbs of newspaper clippings fell out. Some were short pieces, but many were full articles. Margaret had stumbled on eighty articles on Adelaide Herrmann, some which had turned to dust. This was stuff that James Hamilton didnt have. I came back the next day with my computer and began transcribing all the articles. It took days and days. No one had opened that envelope for years. Margaret began putting together a picture of Adelaide that was beyond what she had read in Jamess article. She called and told James what she found. They got together and shared their information. This was the first time he had opened up his own research with someone else. They talked on the phone for hours discussing what they termed Herrmannizing. James and Margaret eventually put a show together in which he did a tribute to Alexander and she did her Adelaide homage. They performed it at several magic history events. After compiling all this research, Margaret kept seeing references to Adelaides memoirs. The phrase Madame is currently writing her memoirs kept popping up in various articles. No one had ever seen this book by Adelaide Herrmann, so what happened to it? Six months before she died, in a letter to the New York Sun Adelaide wrote, I am now writing my memoirs, and it has given me much joy to refresh myself in the field of memory. She died in 1932; her memoirs never surfaced. I knew that they probably had gone to her niece Adele in Newark, New Jersey. Her niece was also her personal assistant. I had a feeling that they were in the possession of Adeles descendants. Unfortunately, Adele had daughters, so with name changes, they are very hard to track. I found out about two relatives just after they had died. Margaret kept searching for those memoirs. In 2010, a descendent of Adelaide Herrmann (by marriage) found Adelaides Broken Wand Ceremony among her stuff and saw that it made reference to her being a member of the S.A.M. Parent Assembly. The relative also found something elsea book. It was Adelaides memoirs. The descendent contacted the Parent Assembly and arrangements were made to see the Herrmann ephemera; since Margaret was such a historian on the grand

Fitchcamp 2001 dame, they invited her to come along. So the PA 1 archivist, the historian, and Margaret took the ride to a house that was just fifteen miles from where Margaret had lived for twenty-two years. Before we arrived, we had a discussion and an agreement was made that, since the Parent Assembly didnt have a budget to buy memorabilia, if an offer was made to sell the book, I would purchase it. I would then pass the book on to the Parent Assembly when I was finished with it, or upon my death. An offer to sell was made, and Margaret bought the book. The night Margaret brought the book home she stayed up all night reading it. It was all surprises thirty chapters worth. I expected it to be the story of her life, but twenty-five chapters are devoted to her life with her husband. Adelaide jammed her own thirty-year solo career into five chapters at the end. It was a true love story. Margaret decided to share her Adelaide Herrmann research with the magic community by publishing a book. It will contain Madames memoir along with many of the articles that Margaret has collected throughout the last ten years. Her book was written during the depression and Im sure she had a hard time trying to get this published. Adelaide wanted this published, so now I will fulfill her dream. Titled Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic Memoirs, Writings, Collected Ephemera, the book will be introduced this November at the Los Angeles Conference of Magic History; Margaret will also lecture at the conference. Margaret is planning a book tour, which will include the lecture and her twenty-minute Herrmann tribute act. Adelaide

Beyond Magic
The Magic Loft in Peekskill, New York, is currently Margarets base of operations. It is a space that she uses for her own projects and that she offers for shows, lectures, workshops, and coaching. This performance space is also where Margaret practices her daytime job. After years of working as a musician, she was ready for something new. As a longtime practitioner and teacher of Tai Chi and Qigong (Chinese martial arts that are practiced for health benefits), she was fascinated with acupuncture and decided to go back to school. Margaret received her Master of Science degree in Acupuncture from the Swedish Institute, College of Health Sciences, in New York City. It is very refreshing to know that the history of the performing magic arts is not lost for the youth of today thanks to people like Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger, and the enchanting Margaret Steele. I have tried to avoid using the clich of everything old is new again, but Madame Steele has proven that to be very true in her performances. If you ever see Margaret Steele on the playbill for a show or convention, run to catch her performance. Her Cornucopia routine will be four minutes of your life you will never, ever, forget. You can watch a sample of Margaret Steeles Cornucopia Act by going to the M-U-M Online page in the Members Only section of www.magicsam.com.

48 M-U-M Magazine


[In 1883, Alexander Herrmann took his company to South America. This incident, from Chapter Twelve of Adelaide Herrmanns memoir, occurred in Argentina.] the inside. At that the farmer attempts to run out, but is stopped by the doctor, who tells him there is no time to be lost if he wishes to be cured. When he consents, the doctor takes a knife and cuts the mans head off, placing it on a cabinet. He then proceeds to take the mans money from his pockets, while the severed head, watching him, cries plaintively, Leave it alone! The doctor, however, goes out with the money, upon which the head mutters feebly for awhile, but presently falls to one side, and the curtain slowly descends. The manager seemed to think well of this, and, on Herrmanns agreeing to give the extra performance, had a poster painted on white muslin depicting a headless man lying on a table with blood flowing copiously from the body and the bloody head on the floor, making a most gruesome picture and nothing like the act that we were going to present. This was tacked around a wagon in which sat a man beating a big bass drum. The wagon was then driven through the town, bringing all the people to their doors and causing great excitement. On the night of the performance the house was crowded. The Decapitation act was the last on the program, and seemed to please the audience; but instead of leaving the theater when the final curtain fell, they remained in their seats, clapping their hands and stamping their feet, while calling at the top of their voices: La sangre! (The blood!) La sangre! just as our audience in Barranquilla had demanded to see le morte a few years earlier. When Herrmann stepped before the curtain and assured them that the performance was over, they repeated their clamor, and continued it until clearly convinced that it would get them nothing. Quite evidently they were bitterly disappointed because Herrmann had performed bloodless surgery instead of the sanguinary operation that the poster had led them to expect.


Our Mendoza engagement proved very successful, and just as we were preparing to leave, the manager of the theater came to Herrmann and said he thought the town was good for one more performance if we had something new to advertise. I have an act, Herrmann told him, in which I cut a mans head off. This would make a great sensation. And he proceeded to describe the Decapitation act to the manager. The scene represented a doctors laboratory, Herrmanns role being that of a quack doctor. A countryman, having read an advertisement telling of the doctors wonderful cure for headache, calls on him and complains of a buzzing in his head. After performing an examination, the doctor tells the patient that the only thing that will cure him is to cut his head off, so that he may thoroughly cleanse

OCTOBER 2011 49

Sure. Most magic books written for young people are not written for young performers. Most of them assume you have no prior skill or experience, and this can be frustrating if youre serious about magic. Below are two basic sleights that you can use every day, each one in a different context. Ive provided a basic but impressive trick that uses each of these sleights, so you can see how they are applied in performance. Next month, Ill wrap up the Under Over series with two performance pieces: Flashcards and Inflated Transposition. Each one contains a patter theme appropriate for a young performer. The effect, method, and presentation are geared toward a young but serious magician.

by Joshua Jay

The False Transfer

You place an object into your hand. Then, its gone. Its simple, elegant, and a pathway to many situational tricks. Offer your friend a piece of gumand make it disappear before he can take it. Theres a rock in your shoe. Remove it, show it, and make it disappearand reappear inside someone elses shoe. Make a sugar packet penetrate a table. Change a carrot into a potato chip. All of these effects pivot around versions of the false transfer. There are as many handlings of the vanish as there are action figures in a toy store, but the one taught here is among the easiest and most versatile. It doesnt rely on the classic palm at all, and unlike other handlings, this version is not limited to coins or flat objects. You can use it in conjunction with Cups and Balls, or improvise with objects like pen caps or dog biscuits. Begin by displaying an object, say a bottle cap, in your right hand. The right hand is palm up; the object should rest along the base of the right fingers (Photo 1). Notice that the right thumb rests along the base of the right first finger. Above all else, remember to keep the right hand relaxed throughout the sleight. Your eyes should focus intently on the bottle cap in your right hand. Even your body should be turned slightly, favoring the right side. A good way to do this is to shift all your bodys weight to your right foot. The hands, eyes, and body will work together as the cap is apparently transferred to the left hand. Actually, the right hand will retain the cap. To perform the sequence, both hands move toward each other at waist 1 height. As the right hand moves, it turns

palm down. During this wrist action, the right thumb moves into the right hand and pins the cap into place (Photo 2). The right thumbs action is slow, soft, and well-covered by the larger movement of the right arm. The spectators will be unable to see the right thumbs action because the hand is turned palm down. As this happens, 2 the left hand turns palm up, as if receiving the cap from the right hand. At precisely the moment the right palm is parallel to the floor, it should contact the palm-up left hand. The left middle finger pad should contact (but not 3 take) the cap pinned in the right hand (Photo 3). The left hand now retracts toward the left. As it moves away from the right hand, the left fingers and thumb are clenched together gently. Dont make a fist here; just cup the fingers together. As the left hand moves, the left wrist rotates the hand palm down slightly. As the bottle cap is apparently taken in the left hand, the eyes follow the left fingers intently. No attention is paid to the right hand now; the action of the right hand must seem unimportant. Even your body language indicates where the cap should be. As the left hand takes the cap, your weight should shift to your left foot. You may wish to turn the body slightly in the direction of the left hand. A split second after the left hand has begun its course to the left or toward a spectator, the right hand retracts to your side. The right hand should simply drop to your side. Swing your limp right arm once or twice, moving the arm only at the shoulder. Still focusing attention on the left hand, crumple the fingers together and open the left hand to show the bottle cap has disappeared.

Heres an immediate application of the false transfer. Youll cause a breath mint to disappear twice. This effect is perfect in the lobby of a restaurant or hotel where theres a large bowl of mints or candy. The effect is completely impromptu. Call attention to the mint bowl and remove one with your right hand (Photo 1). Display the mint at the base of the right fingers and then execute the false transfer (Photos 2, 3, and 4). After showing the mint gone from the left hand, offer to repeat the effect. Keeping the right hands mint concealed,

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An Inside Guide for Young Magicians and their Parents

reach back into the bowl with the right hand. Youll apparently extract another mint. Actually, youll leave the palmed mint back in the bowl (it will blend perfectly with the others). Clench the right fingers and thumb together, as if gripping another mint. Actually, the right hand takes nothing this time. Remove the right hand from the bowl, staring intently at the right fingers. This time you can move even slower and more deliberately than the first time, both because the spectators will be watching you more carefully and because the method this time (no mint at all) is different than the first time (a false transfer).

few moments must transpire while the focus is on something other than the cards. Perhaps youll explain what is about to transpire. You might ask the spectator if she had the option to cut anywhere in the pack. Maybe youll tell a joke. The focus must shift away from the pack, if only for ten seconds. 1 Call attention back to the deck and lift the upper, crossed portion of cards (which is actually the bottom half of the deck). This is the card you cut to, you say as you lift the top card of the lower packet off the table and hand it to the spectator. 2 While it looks like this card comes from the center of the deck, this is actually the force card. If you would like to restore the deck to its original order, simply place the tabled packet on top of the packet in your hand.

Call the Wizard

Pretend to place the right hands mint into the left fingers. Here, youll simulate the actions of actually placing an object in the left hand, which should also match identically the actions of the false transfer. The right thumb plays no part this time because there is nothing to retain in the right hand. Its all a bluff! The eyes focus intently on the left hand as the left fingers clench around what appears to be a mint. Move the left hand away from the right and then cause the second mint to disappear. Now, both hands can be displayed empty. Close by saying, And do you know where the mints went? Gesture with your hands toward your mouth. Smack your lips together a few times and add, And I have the fresh breath to prove it! When the magician fails to find a selected card, he can always count on his friend, The Wizard. The spectator is invited to look up Wizard in the magicians cell phone directory. He makes the calland a real wizard answers! Over the phone, the wizard divines the name of the selection. The workings of the trick are simple. You will force a predetermined card, and a friend will name it over the phone. Your friend will program your cellular phone number into his directory. Whenever you call from this phone, he must agree to answer as a wizardno matter what. He must also agree to name the force card, the Seven of Diamonds. To perform, simply force the Seven of Diamonds via your favorite method (you could use the Cross Cut force, just taught). Make several failed attempts at finding the card (Was this it? No? How about this one?). When I cant find a selection, you say, sometimes I have to ask the wizard. Take out your cell phone and hand it to the spectator. Help guide her to your directory and allow her to scroll down to the Ws. Press send on the wizards number. Now its up to your friend to reveal the card. If he does his job well, hell be animated and eccentric, like this: William the Wizards Office, specializing in locating lost socks and homogenizing homework. Even though weve never met, Im guessing youre thinking of a card right now. Am I right? Dont interrupt! Of course, Im right. Im William the Wizard! Now then, youre thinking of a red card, a Diamondthe Seven of Diamonds! I would love to stay on and chat, but someones here with a toad and I have to figure out how to turn the poor lad back into a child again.

The Cross Cut Force

Originally titled the Crisscross force, this wonderful move was invented by Max Holden. This force has a nice hands off feel to it, and youll be able to perform it immediately. Place the force card on top. Place the deck on the table and invite the spectator to cut the cards by lifting off about half the deck (Photo 1). Take the cut-off portion from the spectator and place it on the table to the right of the bottom half. To mark the place you cut, you say, Ill place the other portion across the packet. So saying, replace the bottom half of the deck on top of the upper portion, crosswise (Photo 2). Now comes the all-important time misdirection. That is, a

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James shares an entertaining tale from the performing lives of professional magicians. These stories illustrate various tricky situations that working pros have found themselves in and how they handled them.
As a working performer, I get to see it all. For the duration of my performance, I get a glimpse into peoples lives. Sometimes what I see is uplifting. Other times its annoying. And on the rare occasion, it is truly depressing. No one who has lived in the nations capital can deny that the city is a study in contrasts. Home to some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the nation, it also harbors a significant underclass, a population that is completely disenfranchised and dispossessed. For me, those two worlds came together in one day. I began my morning in the swanky suburb of Potomac, Maryland, home to the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard and Ted Koppel. The house was vast and new, and the occasion was a childs birthday party, organized not by his parents, but by his mothers personal assistant, a competent young woman who ran the party with patient efficiency. The mother, who did not speak to me the entire time, was impeccably dressed and coiffed and hovered at a distance, making conversation with adult guests. As far as I could tell, she kept her son at a similar distance, not speaking to him directly, but calling over her assistant from time to time to make certain everything was running smoothly. A huge spread of catered food was laid out, untouched, interspersed with beautiful flower arrangements. None of it appeared kid friendly, but luckily the assistant, clearly worth her weight in gold, had supplemented it with pizza and chicken nuggets. The kids, as is often the case with privileged children who are overfed materially and starved emotionally, were ill-behaved and restless. Nevertheless, they enjoyed the show and the assistant was relieved to have someone besides herself to keep them occupied for a while. She gave me a generous tip. From Potomac, I hopped in my car and got on the Beltway, headed for a show in Washington, D.C. I hadnt paid much attention to the address of my next gig, but as I got closer, I realized my GPS was taking me through neighborhoods in the citys Northeast quadrant that I had never visited. When I reached my final destination, I took a look around and my heart sank. I was in the middle of what is affectionately known in America as the hood boarded up, graffiti-laden houses, men drinking on stoops, and a low-rise apartment building whose central courtyard was littered with cigarette butts, bottles, and crushed cans. And there I was, an Englishman in a purple suit and a Fedora, driving a Toyota Prius. The expression fish out of water doesnt quite do it justice. From where I was sitting, still behind the wheel of my car, I could see threewell, lets call them lads, standing on the corner, sizing me up. I started to wonder if I should just cut my losses and drive off. Instead, I called my wife. I told her where I was and described the scene. I then gave her the address in case she needed to give my last known whereabouts to the police. I took a deep breath, got out, and started unloading my gear. I could feel the trios eyes burning a hole in my back. When Id stalled as long as I could, I turned around and headed toward the apartments. My path took me right past the three lads, and as I approached, I saw one of them reaching ominously toward his pocket. A gun? His hand came back empty. He thrust his chin at me. What you doing here? Im here to do a magic show for a birthday party. For a young un? Um, yes. Aight. And with that blessing, he let me pass. Its hard to describe the feeling his approval gave me. It was as though I had been given a free pass that made me untouchable, at least for the duration of the young uns party. I made my way into the building and up the dank staircase to the second floor. After banging on the door for what seemed like an eternity, I was face-to-face with a girl who appeared to be about thirteen. Are you the magician? She told me that her aunt, the woman who had hired me, was out buying food for the party and would back soon. My discomfort, already at record levels, increased further when I entered the apartment. A strong smell of mildew permeated the air. The room was cluttered, with oversized, worn furniture. In place of curtains, the windows were covered with large black trash bags. A television blared in the background. The girl and I waited in silence. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Just when I was about to make my exit, in walked the mother and her daughter, carrying bags of groceries. I introduced myself to the mother and asked her where the guests were. She turned to her five-year-old and said, See? Nobody came to your party. The little girl looked on the verge of tears. Hold on, said her mother. She went out into the hallway and began knocking on neighbors doors. Come on, were having a party, she

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called out. A ragtag group of children of varying ages made their way into the apartment. Assessing the situation as unstable at best, I approached the mother and told her I needed to be paid in advance. She asked me to remind her of the price, which I did. She began hemming and hawing, telling me that she was a single mother struggling to make ends meet. All she had was $100. I was furious. This was only a fraction of the cost of the show, which she had agreed to when she booked me. I glanced at the birthday girl. She had managed to keep from crying, but still looked forlorn and miserable. No doubt she was well-acquainted with disappointment. Ill do it, I said, but for your daughter, not for you. I performed a shortened version of my birthday show and hightailed it out of there. On my way back to the car, I thought back to my first show earlier in the day. The two settings and families could not have been more different. But I kept coming back to what those childrens parties had in common. Strip away the sterile opulence of the Potomac McMansion and the grim dilapidation of the second floor D.C. apartment, and what I was left with was the sound of children laughing, pointing, and causing a joyful commotion during my show. Whatever lay before them and around them was forgotten as they entered a world of sponge balls, silly string, and spy magic. In that world, kids are kids, no matter who they are or where they grow up. As I passed the trio of sentries on the way to my car, the head honcho gave me a nod. And with that nod, I knew that my free pass had expired.

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Excerpt From: The Trapdoor Volume Two Author: Steve Beam Description: Hardbound, 576 pages. Available From: www.stevebeam.com
The Trapdoor Volume Two brings together issues 26 through 50, spanning the years 1989-1993. The Trapdoor featured top-notch close-up and stand-up magic from some of the best creators in magic, plus humorous commentary from its prolific editor, Steve Beam. Four items from the bound collection follow: two semiautomatic card tricks that will impress and baffle laymen and magicians, a cool stunt with a pen, and some useful advice from Mr. Beam on how to deal with annoying card man who likes to put the work in someone elses deck. My thanks to Steve for allowing M-U-M to excerpt these tricks. Michael Close packet, turning it end for end as you lift it up so the spectators can see the faces. (Figures 1 and 2 will help to make this clear.) In other words, the upper packet you are showing the spectators is the top half of the seventeen cards he shuffled. Ask a spectator to the left of the person who has the secret number to remember the top card of the two he sees. Ask a spectator to the right of the person who has the secret number to remember the bottom (be sure to use the word bottom and not the word lower) card of the two he sees. Lower the right hands cards and place them on top of the left hands cards without reversing them. (That is, the right hand does not twist its cards back into their original position. The result is that the right-hand cards have been turned end-for-end from their original position.) Hold a break below the right hand cards at the near inner end. You are holding the deck in telescoped 1 fashion in dealing position in the left hand. You hold a break at the near end, marking the spot where the right-hand cards were replaced. You are now going to apparently mix the cards while retaining total control over them. Strip out the out-jogged cards with your right hand and slap them on top of the pack. (Retain the break as you do this.) Now cut the deck at the break and 2 complete the cut. The work is done for you. The first spectators card is seventeenth (the secret number in this example) from the top of the pack. The second spectators selection is on the bottom of the pack. Ask for the name of the first selection and the secret number. Make a magical gesture, which supposedly sends the card to that location. Deal sixteen cards (one less than the secret number) to the table. Take the top card into the right hand as the left hand casually places its remaining cards on top of the tabled cards. Note that this sends the second selection to seventeenth from the face just by placing the sixteen cards just dealt under it. Ask for the name of the first card again. Turn the card in your right hand face up for the climax. Ask for the second selection and repeat the magical gesture. Hand the pack to the person who selected the second card. Ask him to deal the cards to the table. But you chose the bottom card of the twoso I sent your card to a position seventeenth from the bottom of the pack. Build this up to make it seem as if this was considerably more difficult than the first. Count with him as turns the deck face up and deals sixteen cards to the table. The seventeenth card staring him in the face

Double Dealer
By Steve Beam
I have been intrigued by Karl Fulvess incomplete riffle shuffle control since Rick Johnsson showed it to me in the mid Seventies. It is a self-working miracle that fools everyone not familiar with the principle. However, it seemed incomplete (if you will) that most routines only used one of the two cards on the face of the pack. The following is a method to deal effectively with a second selection. Effect: The spectator shuffles a pack of cards. He cuts off about a third of the cards, counts them secretly to himself, and then remembers this secret number. These cards are riffle shuffled into the remaining cards, leaving the packets telescoped at the finish. A spectator is asked to call stop as the magician slowly riffles through the telescoped packet. All the cards are lifted at that point and the faces of the lifted-off cards are shown to the spectators. One person remembers the face card of the top telescoped packet and the other remembers the face card of the bottom telescoped packet. The top half is replaced. The cards are split out (out-jogged cards stripped from the rest) and placed on top. The packet is cut. The magician couldnt possibly know the location of either of the selections or the secret number the spectator is remembering. However, the magician sends the first selection to the secret number from the top of the pack. The second selection goes to a position from the bottom of the pack equivalent to the secret number. The Work: The first part is standard fare for riffle shufflers. Lets assume the spectator cuts off and counts seventeen cards. These cards are riffle shuffled into the others but not squared. The combined pack is placed in dealing position in the left hand, with the cards he counted nearest you. Riffle down the far left corner of the outer packet for the spectator to call stop. When he does, your right hand lifts the

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will be his selection. You were able to send two freely chosen cards to a position merely thought of by another spectator. This is strong stuff!


By Steve Beam
This is more of a sucker puzzle than a performance item. In effect, the magician taps a pen (which may be borrowed) on one end. He states that he is tapping the ink down to the end of the pen. He then balances one end of the pen on his extended right forefinger. At the conclusion of the effect, the pen is tapped on the other end. This apparently causes the ink to return to its original condition. The pen is passed out for a spectator to try the same thing unsuccessfully. If you wish, instead of tapping the pen on the table, this can be performed as a demonstration of your animal magnetism. By aiming one end of pen toward you, the ink rushes to that end. When the spectator endeavors to repeat the feat, someone other than the magician explains the lack of the necessary magnetism in the spectator. Preparation: This effect owes its method to a gimmick and a clever switching procedure designed to let you start and end in a clean manner. You need to start with two identical, lightweight pens that have pop top caps that are about half the length of the pens. Any light flare pens or Sharpies will work fine. The type of pen used has to be one where the cap is snapped onto the back of the pen when not covering the point. Remove the pen from one of the caps and discard the pen. Place this cap on the butt (non-point) end of the other pen. Mentally note how far the shaft of the pen goes into the cap. The size of the cavity remaining varies but should be about ninety percent of the cap. In other words, the pen goes about ten percent of the way into the cap. This leaves ninety percent of the cap for you to fill with lead shot and glue. The glue has to be of a type that will adhere to both lead and the type of plastic that composes the cap. (When in a pinch, use Play Doh in lieu of glue.) The Suspender Switch: Start with the gimmick finger palmed in the left hand with the mouth of the cap toward the mouth of the loose fist. Remove the regular pen with the regular cap. Place the cap end of the pen into the mouth of the left fist. Place it beneath the gimmick as shown in Figure 3. Note the position of the right second finger underneath the pen. As you pull the cap off the pen and the pen out of the fist, this finger straightens out. This causes the pen to swing around the right forefinger and come to rest between the first two fingers as shown in Figure 4. Now place the butt end of the pen back in the left fist, apparently to replace the cap on the pen. Actually, place the pen into the gimmick. As soon as the gimmick is securely on the butt end of the pen, remove the pen from the left hand and curl your second finger in again. This causes the pen to rotate back around into a position where it is grasped between the thumb and forefinger as shown in Figure 5. At the conclusion of the switch, 3 the regular cap occupies the same

position in the left hand that the gimmick occupied. It remains here until the end of the effect when they are switched again. You can now release the thumbs grip on the pen. Depending upon where the center of gravity is located, you may wish to adjust the location of the pen on the forefinger first. The farther you can get the point end of the pen to extend over the forefinger, the stronger the effect. This is what makes having a light pen so important. After pausing for a moment for the spectator to appreciate the effect, 4 you are now set to reverse the switch you just executed. The moves are identical, only in reverse. Open the right second finger, swinging the pen around to a position clipped between the first two fingers (as you would clip a cigarette). The capped end is placed in the left where the gimmick is removed. The pen proper is removed from the fist and rotated around the right forefinger so that the pointed end is pointing toward the left hand. Place 5 the pointed end inside the regular cap and remove both as one unit from the left hand. To misdirect the spectators from the 1eft hand, tap the pen on the table on the opposite side (the pointed end) from the end you tapped at the beginning (the butt end). This apparently redistributes the ink (and the center of gravity) throughout the pen. Regurgitations: This is basically a reworking of the old wand suspension that is in most magic sets. The switch of the cap is a natural action with a pen, which allows you to finish cleanly. Experiment with the amount of shot you should fill the cap with. I have seen some pens that are so light that I only had to fill the cap half way up. This shifted the center of gravity even more toward the gimmicked end and improved the suspension effect.

Mating Season VII

By Steve Beam
This routine is best performed stand-up with a table, although the table isnt absolutely essential. The card matching at the selected number is stronger for magicians than it is for laymen as they inevitably think I use a bottom deal. However, the real magic for laymen is when the two halves just shown to be completely out of sync are touched together and the color change occurs, revealing that both halves are completely mated. Presentation: To start, the magician introduces a deck of cards. Gamblers and magicians have a lot in common but they are very different from regular people. For example, it takes very sensitive fingertips to perform many of the sleight of hand moves. I use a steel file to sensitize my fingertips. As you might imagine, after the blood dries and I peel the scabs, the remaining fingertips

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are very sensitive. Thats not so bad. When I dont have a file handy, I use a belt sander. With this as the intro, the audience is paying rapt attention. There are two tests that determine whether you would make a good gambler skill and luck. Okay, if you add in a belt sander you also need a fair amount of dedication and a high threshold for pain. First, we will test my skill, and then we will test your luck. The sensitive fingertips I spoke about are needed for the test of skill. The magician tables the deck face up. Im going to ask you to cut the deck wherever you would like, and we will use the deck as you have cut it. The spectator cuts the pack and completes the cut. The magician explains, The first test of skill is whether I can determine the number of matches that exist in the pack now that you have cut it. Im going to have to study the cards to determine the precise number and then split the pack in the exact center. This is extremely difficult and I warn you it may take a few minutes. The magician quickly spreads the cards face up, splits the deck into two halves, and flips both halves face down in about two seconds. Then againmaybe it wont. Im finishedand there are precisely two matches. Now its time to test you for luck. Luck is two matches in the pack. But can you guess where they are? For your first guess, I will give you a hint. The first match is between the third and fifteenth positions. Pick a number between three and fifteen. Assume the spectator chooses the number eight. Im going to deal through both packets simultaneously. We are looking for the first match. If the cards at your number match, then you are considered lucky. Dealing cards simultaneously from each half face up to the table, the first match (color and value) appears at the chosen number. The magician weighs the packets remaining in his hands. We have about fifteen cards remaining in each packet. The second match lies somewhere between three and fifteen in these packets. Please pick another number between three and fifteen. Assume the spectator chooses four. The magician deals cards from both packets simultaneously. Again, the only match occurs at the selected position, position number four. Reassembling the packets into two halves, you say, Okay, youve proven that you are lucky only the cards located at the positions you chose matched. And, lucky is good but as a magician, I dont like those one-in-fifty-two odds. Let me show you the way a magician would do it. At this, the magician touches the two halves together. He then deals simultaneously through both halves showing the entire pack matches. The Work: Stack the deck so that the card at position one matches (color and value) the card at position twenty-seven. Position two matches position twenty-eight, position three matches position twenty-nine, etc. This continues through the entire deck so that position twenty-six matches position fifty-two. The deck can be cut as often as wished. When you spread through the pack to determine the number of matches and to cut it in the middle, simply look for the card at the twenty-seventh position from the face. It is the mate to the card on the face of the pack. Back up one card and split the pack between the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth card. This sends the mate to the card on the face to a position second from the face in the rearmost packet. Your left hand takes the rear half as your right hand takes the front half. Use your thumbs to flip both packets face down. Ask for the number between three and fifteen. Assume they choose the number eight. Hold both hands side by side in dealing position over the table. Turn both hands palm down simultaneously and thumb off the top card face up onto the table about eight inches apart as shown in Figure 6. The fingertips of each hand slap the table through the card. This noise should occur on each card dealt throughout. Complete the deal by rotating both hands palm up and returning to the starting position. Count one as the cards are dealt together to the table. While returning to the palm-up position after each deal may seem superfluous, it allows the audience time to notice that the cards on the face of the tabled heaps dont match.

Repeat the deal exactly as described, thumbing the new top cards onto the tabled cards in a fluid and rhythmic motion. You want to assemble the piles as neatly as possible without apparently trying to control this. Continue this up to the count of seven, the number before the chosen number. Without changing your pace at all, both hands will then turn to deal the eighth card from each packet to the table. Again, both sets of fingertips will slap the table, only the right hand doesnt deal a card. The card on the face of the right hand does not change, but the actions and sounds combine to create a perfect illusion. Continuing with the follow-through, both hands return to the palm-up starting position. The audience sees that the cards on the face of the tabled piles match. Pause for them to appreciate this turn of events. They believe the effect is over. Phase II: Flip the packets remaining in each hand face up. There will be a non-matching card on the face of each packet. Ask for the second number. You are going to limit their choice to a number between three and a couple cards less than the number in each packet. Thus, if there are eighteen cards remaining in each packet (in our example above), you will limit them to a choice of a number between three and fifteen. If there were only fifteen cards left, you would limit them to a choice between three and twelve. Nobody questions the limits you are placing on them, because you are trying to help the spectator. Now you are going to perform the same false deal, this time with the packets face up. Assume you estimate there are eighteen cards left and you gave the volunteer a choice of a number between three and fifteen. You will deal cards from both hands simultaneously, counting with each card dealt. You will deal by rotating your hands palm down, thumbing off the cards on the face of the packets, and then rotating both hands palm up again. You will make the fake deal as you deal their selected number. Assume they choose four. On the fourth card from each packet, pretend to deal from the right packet while actually dealing a card from the left packet. Rotate both hands palm up to bring the mates into view. Whoa! Well I guess you pass the luck test. You nailed the only two matches in the pack. Yes this is an exaggeration. But if you say it with authority, nobody will question it. Technically,

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they found the only matches in the cards you dealt. You didnt deal all the cards. You may just have what it takes to be a gambler but let me show you what it takes to be a magician. As you are delivering this last line of manure, you are setting up for the climax as follows: Thumb the face card of the packets you are holding face up onto the table, but keep both hands palm down so you dont flash the fact that the next cards behind those cards match as well. The face cards are dealt on either side of the two matches already being displayed on the table. Drop the face-down packets you are holding on the face-down packets you just dealt on the table. Pick up the combined face-down packets with your palm-down hands and rotate them palm up. Again the audience sees the faces of two supposedly equal packets that dont match. Bring the face-up right-hand packet over to scoop up the tabled

left-hand packet as shown in Figure 7. You want the tabled packet out-jogged on top as shown in Figure 8. Do the same thing with the left hand, adding the tabled right-hand packet, out-jogged on the left-hand packet. Finish as shown in Figure 9. This display shows that only the cards they stopped you on, which are now on the faces of the packets, match. The reassembly process may seem awkward, but if done casually it will seem natural. Holding the packets as shown back in Figure 9, tilt the front edges downward and allow the upper halves of each packet to slide down and coalesce with the lower halves. As soon as they are flush, tap the two packets together for the magic to occur. Now, holding the packets above the table, thumb the face cards off each packet allowing them to drop to the table below. Thumb the cards off as quickly as possible, allowing the falling cards to form two separate piles. Neatness is not an issue this time speed is more important. You are going to thumb through all twenty-six cards in both halves. This is how magicians do it. We cheat. When the last cards fall, separate your hands for your applause cue. Im going to finish this description with a couple of performance tips. First, you want the packets you are dealing to the table to be close together. Otherwise, it will be impossible for the audience to focus on both packets simultaneously as you deal through the deck counting each pair of cards dealt. Second, you will feel the need to rush the deal because you think that the prearrangement of the cards is obvious. It isnt. There are two cards being shown with each deal and the audience is hunting for a match. They dont have enough time to process on the cards that were dealt immediately before the ones you are now dealing. If you go too fast, they will not have time to appreciate that the pairs you are turning over do not match. Finally, when you get to the climax, you want the simultaneous deal through of the pack to be done quickly so it doesnt drag. However, the faster you deal, the less likely the audience can focus on both cards being dealt. To solve this, both piles should be dealt very close together. In fact, if retaining the setup isnt important to you, you should overlap the cards slightly. This will leave no doubt of the stunning climax. Background: The initial one-card matching part of this effect owes a substantial nod to Paul Currys Power of Thought, which is basically the one-ahead principle repeated throughout the deal. There are many different variations both sleight of hand and semi-automatic that allow you to stop and show that the cards match at a specific point. The fake deal was a natural and it was first published in Volume One of Semi-Automatic Card Tricks. There are many simpler ways to cause two cards at two positions to match without setting up an entire deck. For this reason, the effect begged for a climax that would justify its existence. The killer climax showing that all the cards match filled the bill nicely. There is no doubt when you rush through cards at the end that you are at the climax.

Dealing with the Crimpers By Steve Beam

We all know a magician who borrows your deck during a session to do a trick and then returns it filled with crimps, nicks, bows, and spittle. Known as the Chicago Affectation, extreme examples are usually followed by the same magician producing his own pristine deck for his crimp-free tricks. Perhaps you have fantasized about ways to deal with this Bender of the Bikes, this Pummeler of the Packs, this Deck Destroyer. You dream of using his deck to do a down-under deal

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into the puddle of condensation left when you move your glass of ice water, which was ordered specifically for that purpose. Or, you marinate on the thought of simply lapping or palming off any card rendering his deck worthless for anything other than dealing tricks that almost locate the selected card. This is accompanied by your solo chorus of, Gee, one card off again? Well fantasize no more. Below you will find the three-step program designed to house-break this vandal by removing the value of the crimp to him. Step 1: After your deck is returned and everyone in the room is wondering how he did his miracle, pick up the deck. Openly un-crimp the card as you call attention to the crimp with a resounding, Jeez, Dave! Step 2: On subsequent effects during which he borrows someone elses deck and doesnt use a crimp, pick up the deck after the trick and quickly place an exaggerated crimp in the bottom card. Do this on the downbeat. Then, openly lift the deck for all to see. Geez, Dave! What were you thinking? He will protest that he didnt crimp the card. Since everyone saw what he did with your deck, he has no credibility and others will mock him. Step 3: Since nobody will loan him another deck, he will be forced to use his own. When he gives you his deck to shuffle in the middle of a trick, secretly crimp the bottom card in the process of complying with his instructions. Cut the pack and return it for the completion of the trick. Do not touch the cards again during his trick. Instead, wait until he finishes and tables the deck. Point to the side of the pack sporting the crimp. Geez, Dave! What is it with you and card bending? Since Dave has been busted three times in a single session for using crimped cards, he will never be able to do a card trick without all of the magicians who watched him getting busted studying the sides of the deck for crimps. Thus, crimps have no future value to him. However, you occasionally may encounter someone who just wont take the subtle hints you provide in the three-step program. For these situations, it may be necessary to resort to the dreaded fourth-step in your three-step program. Use this with care. Step 4: Near the end of the session, explain that you would like to show him your latest miracle The MCF Location but you know he would swear that you are using a gaffed deck. Eager to see your latest, he will no doubt offer his deck along with the admonition to be careful not to bend any of his cards. Take his deck from him and have him select any card. While he is showing it to others present, execute the Mercury Card Fold from Expert Card Technique. (This instantly and secretly folds the bottom card of the pack into quarters.) Riffle down the side of the deck until he tells you to stop. Place the top half of the deck onto the table and ask him to place his card on top of the tabled half. With your free hand, take all the remaining cards (including the folded one underneath) and place them on top of the selection. As the audience notices the giant gap in the cards where you have stuffed the folded card, say, I will now attempt to cut to your cardusing the Mercury Card FoldI mean the MCF Location. I have never had to resort to a Step 5.

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Latest Product Reviews Compiled and Edited by W. S. Duncan
Available from: www.squashpublications.com Price $35.00 Review by Tom Ewing The shortcoming of most magic historical books is that they suffer from the writer not having firsthand experience with his subject. Writers may comb letters, scrapbooks, magazines, and newspapers in their search for elusive details for their stories, but may end up with an incomplete and often lacking account of what really happened. Luckily, this is not the case with Memoirs of An Elusive Moth, the first-person account of Adele Friel Rhindress and her travels with the Blackstone illusion show in its last years. This is an absolutely delightful biography, charmingly written by a member of Blackstones troupe, which takes the reader behind the curtains and on the road as The Show of 1001 Wonders delights audiences across the country. From 1947 to 1950, Rhindress toured as an assistant to Americas favorite magician and was featured in an illusion Blackstone designed specifically for her, The Elusive Moth, which was her signature effect. Rhindress joined the show in 1947 after receiving an urgent call from her agent telling her that the Blackstone show needed a new girl and directing her to turn up at Philadelphias Walnut Street Theater. Only seventeen, she was already an accomplished dancer and by her own admission, while not a star, was a solid act that opened for performers like Orson Bean, Jerry Vale, Jack Klugman, and Ed McMahon. Her account of first meeting Blackstone, trying on costumes, being swept away to a theatrical supply company to purchase make-up and silver shoes, and appearing on the show that same day is wonderfully told, as are most of her recollections. A quick study, Rhindress learned her music cues, how she was to be concealed in illusions, how to change quickly from one costume to another just off stage, and a hundred other unseen tasks that are essential to delivering a magical experience for the audience. The way Rhindress writes, readers will feel like they are traveling with the Blackstone show as the cast members pull into town, unload the show, find lodgings, meet with sponsors, perform to crowded houses, and then break everything down and move on to the next town. Along the way you get to meet other members of the troupe, including a young Del Ray (who taught her magic), Pete and Millie Bouton, noted illusion builder Nick Ruggiero, stage manager Fred Phillips, and young Harry Jr., who Rhindress befriended and who was her teenage companion on shopping sprees when he visited the show during school breaks. Rhindress first learned of Blackstones intention of creating an illusion specifically for her when she received two hand-written letters from him detailing his thoughts. It was to be called The Elusive Moth, and he asked her to come immediately for costume fittings and rehearsals. She left immediately, heading for Colon. This biography benefits greatly from the fact that Rhindress lived with the Blackstone family in Colon, Michigan, for two summers, where she and the cast rehearsed the entire show for the upcoming tour. In the prologue to the book, Blackstone expert Dan Waldon writes of Rhindresss illusion: Night after night, she spread her wings and danced through the jungle, voodoo drums throbbing in her ears, a savage tribe in hot pursuit behind her. And night after night they would catch her in the gigantic web of a spider, and hoist her into the air so she could not escape. Yet escape she did. A flash of light, a burst of smoke [from Blackstone], and she was gone vanished, just as though it were a magic trick. Rhindress also reveals another secret hidden from admiring audiences but much more serious: Blackstones failing health. Unknown to most was Harrys continuing battle with severe asthma. Only a few months into her first season, Blackstone suffered an attack and everyone was sent home with their pay and travel expenses. She recalls a number of occasions when, despite his illness, the fraternal Blackstone would perform in the evening and then visit local magic clubs to hang out with the local magicians. April 1, 1950, was the closing engagement for the season. Starting in September 1949, they had played twenty-two states and forty-six cities with almost 250 performances. Everyone headed home and the real world. For a variety of reasons, Rhindress never worked again for the Blackstone show. Nor was the Blackstone show ever the show of 1001 Wonders. A smaller version went out for the final tour in 1954-55, but it was very different from the one Rhindress worked on. She went on with her life, took other jobs, married, raised a family, and basically kept quiet about her memories of her time with the show. That is, until a surprise from her children ignited the spark of magic once again. Like a great magic trick, I cant reveal what that surprise was, youll just have to ask Rhindress at the many magic conventions she now attends and buy the book from her or your favorite dealer and find out. And I strongly recommend you buy it. Its magic!


Available from: www.squashpublications.com Price $45.00 Review by Tom Ewing Anyone who has had the pleasure of attending any of the leading magic collecting and history conferences and has heard author and historian Chris Woodward lecture knows that when he speaks, interesting and unique aspects of our magical history will be revealed. Such is the case with his latest effort, Rameses,

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the Forgotten Star, which recounts and life and adventures of Albert Marchinski, a Russian-Polish immigrant who took England and America by storm in the guise of Rameses, an Egyptian wonder-worker back in the early years of the previous century. An excellent foreword by historian Edwin A. Dawes sets the scene perfectly, noting that the late 1800s were a time of great change in the British theater. The old music halls gave way to handsome new variety theaters, resulting in patronage by the middle class, who would have normally shunned those earlier venues. Onto the scene came what Dawes describes as a positive avalanche of magicians, bringing a wealth of difference styles of performance, ranging across sleight of hand, escapology, comedy, and grand scale illusions. It was, Dawes also says, the time of the American magical invasion. It started with T. Nelson Downs, the King of Koins, who was quickly followed by Howard Thurston, Chung Ling Soo, Houdini, The Great Lafayette, Horace Goldin, Arnold De Biere, Imro Fox, and many others. It was also the golden age of magic for British and continental magicians, and audiences delighted to stars like Servais LeRoy, Charles Morritt, Okito, Selbit, Lewis Davenport, and David Devant. Into this group came Marchinski, in the guise of an Egyptian magician in 1908. He was almost immediately popular with audiences, and featured puzzling illusions on a dazzling stage resplendent with Egyptian motifs, including a backdrop showing the Sphinx and the pyramids. On either side of a set of steps at the back of the stage stood two bronze lions supporting flaming urns. The following description of the act (as performed at the Empire Theater) comes from a review in The Demon Telegraph: Amidst a fine stage setting a cabinet stands in the centre of the stage with a lady inside it; a male assistant is on each side. The lady steps down, walks around the cabinet, runs down the curtains of the cabinet for a few seconds, and raises them again to effect the entrance of the Magician Rameses, who throws a demon flash and steps forwardFour shaped pieces of wood are exhibited and placed in the cabinet to form a tent. From this, Rameses produces a goose and a girl. The goose is placed on a table and apparently hypnotized; an empty pan is placed on another table. Water is poured into the pan and three eggs are dropped in. A fire is made under the vessel and the cover is placed on top. By way of interlude, Rameses indulges in a little fire-eating before removing the lid again, when three pigeons make their appearance. The dormant goose is then restored to activity. Later came two illusions that were trademarks of his act. A girl is led to what appears to be an altar at the back of the stage. Mounted on this, a sack-like curtain descends over her and is set on fire. The flames burn fiercely for some moments, until the covering is raised, exposing a few bones and ashes in place of the human sacrifice. These remains are placed on the floor of the cabinet and the curtains lowered. When these are raised the girl is found once more in the flesh. Rameses next enters the cabinet to vanish and reappear in the auditorium, discharging flashes as he makes his way to the stage. The final effect is repeated with the lady, who enters the cabinet and is replaced by the male attendant while she is discovered among the audience. Rameses awaits her arrival on the stage and the curtain falls on a highly creditable performance. Rameses played the biggest theaters of the time, including the

London Hippodrome, the Palladium, The Wood Green Empire (the theater where Chung Ling Soo met his end doing the bullet catch), St. Georges Hall, and two tours of the Orpheum Circuit in the United States. He was intimate friends with magics leading stars. Most important, he was extremely popular with audiences. His exotic act stood out at a time when the competition was stiff. How then is it that this undisputed star of the period is forgotten while others are recalled and their careers chronicled? As Woodward points out, even Milbourne Christopher left him out of his highly detailed The Illustrated History of Magic. In his usual thorough manner, Woodward has combed all existing historical records (including accounts from magic periodicals of the time), has scoured the archives of the Magic Circle, and has pulled material from leading collectors worldwide that reads like a Whos Who in magic history. He has also tracked down every living relative of Marchinski and can even boast that his daughter married a member of the Marchinski family. Helping his biography as well is the fact that Woodwards father-in-law, the late Maurice Fogel, worked for Marchinski in the stars later years and even impersonated Rameses when, upon occasion, the star was too ill to perform. From these sources Woodward has put some serious flesh on the bones of this wonderful performer; anyone purchasing a copy will be taken on a journey that starts in the humblest beginnings in the poorest part of London and progresses to fame and bright footlights on the leading stages of the time. The journey is accompanied, of course by occasional financial or health set-backs, but ends with the conclusion that his was a life well-led and more than deserving of this biography. Eight four-color pages of Rameses posters, playbills, photographs, and memorabilia complement the book. If I can find any fault with this work, it must be that the postage-stamp-sized illustrations in the rest of the book really do a disservice to the subject. The images are so small that programs, handbills, letters, and even photographs of the star and his wife are unreadable. This notwithstanding, Rameses, the Forgotten Star should not be forgotten, and is deserving of a place on all magic enthusiasts bookshelves.


Available from: www.vanishingincmagic.com Price $65.00 Review by Payne Everyone at some point in their life should experience the magic of Jon Allen. But if you are unable to have the pleasure of doing so in person, then you should at least read his book. You wont regret it. If Mr. Allens name sounds familiar to you, it is most likely because you know him as the inventor of the popular effect Silent Treatment. He also has just released Flexion a fiendishly clever key-bending routine and device. He also recently appeared on Penn & Tellers Fool Us performing his just-out-on-the-market routine Pain Game. In 1995 he won the national I.B.M. close-up competition. That act is detailed in this book. He has also taken first place in the close-up magic competitions at the I.B.M. British Ring and at the illustrious Magic Circle. He definitely knows his stuff.

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And now so can you. Well, at least some of his stuff. As mentioned previously hes tipped his entire award-winning I.B.M. close-up act. But this wasnt done with the intention of releasing a bevy of Jon Allen clones on an unsuspecting world, though I am sure there will be some who will try to replicate this act move for move, line for line. No, the act was unveiled so that one could study its intricate and cunning structure. Seeing how the various tricks are interwoven together into a cohesive whole and how preparations for some tricks are being made while performing other effects is a joy to behold. It is somewhat reminiscent of a good cups and balls routine in which the final loads are made several moves before they are eventually revealed. A book simply containing this contest act and the explanation of the thoughts that went into it would alone be well worth the price. But lucky for us Mr. Allen has revealed many of his working routines. Since Mr. Allen is known for his close-up magic one might assume that this book would be entirely devoted to that aspect of the craft. However any winner of a close-up contest will tell you that the best way to win a close-up contest is not to do close-up magic. Much to the chagrin of many a true close-up worker, the trophies usually go home with the guy who did stand-up, or even parlor magic in his close-up set. So while there is the requisite amount of magic for those intimate close-up situations, there is also plenty of material for the stand-up performer. In fact, this book has something for nearly everyone. There are cards, coins, mental magic, some killer rubber band effects, and even a strange little variation on the old Prayer Vase that will appeal to the balloon workers among us because it is done with a couple of uninflated balloons. The card tricks cover the gamut from truly original works to variations on existing effects. Jons handling of the classic Anniversary Waltz will no doubt supplant whatever version you are currently using. There is an interesting handling for Out of This World that makes it eminently doable in a walk-around situation because its done all in the hands and requires no table. And for those into memorized deck effects, there is an ungaffed version of the Fred trick that is sure to appeal. Be aware that a few of the card effects require specialized decks. Some of these are commercially available while others will have to be constructed out of multiple decks. All of them are well worth studying for the thought and subterfuge that went into them, even if you have no intention of ever performing them. My favorite effects in the book are a presentation for the Cigarette through Coin and an ber-clever application for the old Out to Lunch principle. Ive actually dug out my old Cig through Coin from my junk drawer and put it in my close-up case. This is actually a hard book to review; every time I flip through it I find another tidbit I want to tell you about. Doing so, however, would deprive you of the pleasure of finding these innovative morsels for yourself. So stop what youre doing, get online, and order yourself a copy of this book. You wont regret it. Its going on my top shelf.

Available from: www.lybrary.com PDF download $30.00; Softbound $40.00 Review by Dan Garrett Curmudgeons like me lament that the publishing medium of choice today is no longer the bound book with real paper pages.

Its the PDF file (or whatever format works in your particular electronic book reader). But it is the way of the future and it is here. With a PDF you always have the option to print it out on real paper yourself. And with The Color Change, if you simply cant abide a PDF version, for ten bucks more you can have an actual printed copy. Color changes with cards may seem like a subject of narrow scope, but it is far from it. The Color Change is quite readable, and is well designed with a nifty color cover by Radek Makar. Printing it out isnt really necessary, even for a curmudgeon like me. The work contains full descriptions, often with clear color photos by Charles Heidlage, of a large number of the best-known (and lesser known) color changes with playing cards. The author, Crispin Sartwell, is a selfdescribed card hobbyist. He is also a college professor who teaches art history, political science, and philosophy. In Renaissance-man fashion he is also a former newspaper columnist, music critic, and has written a number of books published outside the field of magic. While Sartwell does not claim to list every color change known to man (in truth he covers only a small percentage of whats out there), he does go about the descriptions and theory behind color changes in a logical manner. Each item gives some history (though not always accurate) and a scaled bar graph rating (which I like) of two things: difficulty and beauty. Both can be subjective, but they are a wonderful gauge to help you decide which things to work on first. He divides the classic color changes into five basic parts. Of course, there are many exceptions. Jon Racherbaumer, one of magics foremost cardicians, writers, and card historians, feels that this work is the best compilation of color changes to date. Thats high praise! Sartwell describes or mentions contributions from the beginnings of card magic by Hofsinzer, Reginald Scot, Professor Hoffman, Herrmann, Erdnase, and on to the last generation of legends such as Tenkai, Vernon, Marlo, Andrus, Hugard, LePaul, Ross Bertram, and many others. There are plenty of items from living magicians, from Lorayne, McBride, Daryl, and Giobbi onward to Joshua Jay, Chris Kenner, and Homer Liwag, and many more of their contemporaries. There is not nearly enough room to list them all here. The most glaring omissions, in the unimportant opinion of this curmudgeon reviewer, include the following: Paul LePauls Snap Change in his book The Magic of Paul LePaul (I first saw this performed by Fred Kaps on an old filmstrip, and it changed my view of color changes); a lot of the color changes of Steve Beam, who wrote a book of original changes (The Changing of the Card ); and my own OHS Color Change (One-Hand Swivel), which has been published from the early 1980s in lecture notes, videos, and Steve Beams The Trapdoor magazine. Actually, that last move is included and is described as The Twirl Change, sort-of credited to Brian Tudor and Jay Noblezada. But it is my move, and no credit given. Okay, so Im a big old curmudgeon, forgive me. The Color Change is more like an overview than an encyclopedia. Theres a lot of great stuff worthy of your study in the 165-odd pages, including a nice bibliography. Youll find plenty of work to keep you busy for years. One advantage of publishing electronically is that a body of work of this type can be easily updated, expanded, and revised to include corrections and additional material. I hope that this is the case, at least in a few places. I highly recommended this to any magician interested in color

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changes; it will make a fine addition to any electronic magic library... There! Ive now arrived at the future. Let me in, please!


Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $125.00 Review by Antonio M. Cabral Norman Beck, in the September 2011 M-U-M, weighed in on the great DVD vs. books debate by saying that while he prefers books for learning the mechanics of an effect, he likes DVDs for learning how to sell it. I agree. Some tricks exist in print with all you need to know to perform them effectively. Other times, no matter how long you spend with a trick, you find yourself wondering, How does [insert name of creator/performer here] manage this moment? What is that part supposed to look like? This is especially true if one is inexperienced. Just as it helps a beginning musician to hear the notes before they play them, it helps a beginning magician to see what moves are supposed to look like, and even more to see how good so-called beginners tricks or easy material can look before performing them. For those folks, theres Roberto Giobbis Card College 1&2 four-DVD set. My European friends (many of whom got to enjoy Giobbis Card College series years before those of us in the States) tell me the initial two volumes of Card College books were intended to be sold as a unit. The student would then have to live with the material for a long time, developing a repertoire and toolkit from just those techniques taught in the two volumes. This echoes the old sentiment that if a performer only learned the material in Royal Road to Card Magic or The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, theyd have as solid a working act as theyd need. On the four discs of the Card College 1&2 DVD set, Giobbi demonstrates the arsenal of tricks and techniques from the books and, while they may not be all the card tricks youll ever need for a solid working act, theyll certainly put a beginner ahead of the pack. Beginners material carries with it an unfortunate stigma. Just the designation beginners makes it sound like one is sitting at the kids table that the tricks arent as good or as cool as the professional stuff. However, just because a trick may be mechanically simple or easily grasped by a beginner-level magician doesnt mean that the trick isnt any good. Many of the tricks performed and explained on these discs are good enough to fit in any pros working repertoire. The handling of Francis Carlyles Homing Card (Homing Card Plus) is one example; Irv Weiners Transposition Extraordinary (here as Transpo Excelsior) is another. Add to those The Lucky Coin and Psychic Stop, and you have a nice selection of strong tricks (if the student takes the time to learn them). The fact that the particular tricks are chosen to help teach/learn different techniques even daunting ones like palming, the classic force, and the top change is a testament to why Giobbi is one of my favorite teachers in magic. The fastest way to gaining proficiency with any of these difficult moves is to dive in and use them, and having really strong tricks to dive in with provides the best positive reinforcement imaginable: strong

audience reactions. And gaining proficiency with those difficult moves will absolutely put a beginning magician ahead of the pack ahead of many pros, in fact. Simply put, theres nothing to be embarrassed about with this material. Giobbi is as fine a teacher on video as he is in print. His explanations, while not all-encompassing, provide all the information needed to learn the moves and tricks, in many cases with extra touches to help boost a moves effectiveness or utility. His explanation of the classic force, for example, isnt as thorough as, say, Paul Gertners on his classic force DVD, but Paul has the luxury of a whole DVD to go into detail. And while the move is notoriously difficult to explain in anything but real time, Giobbi provides a number of tips on rhythm and timing (and ways to practice), and also provides a number of outs for when you dont hit the force. The nice part about these outs is that theyre designed to steer the proceedings back on track, in contrast to the old-school advice of just do a different trick. Theres only so much thinking on ones feet you can expect from a beginner, and changing card tricks in the middle of the stream doesnt qualify. Robertos advice is much more satisfying all the more so when you no longer need it. The production values on these discs are beautiful, befitting the image of class that Giobbi likes to project. It may come as a surprise to some at how conversational Giobbis style and pacing is, and some might even be disappointed by it. Indeed, there are a few places in the performances where Giobbi asks questions and engages his spectators where I would prefer to barrel ahead with the effect. But Im not disappointed; its a stylistic choice, befitting slightly different audiences than American performers might run into. That doesnt take away from any of the advice offered here. The only other question for some may be, is it worth the $125? Particularly when the first two print volumes can be had for around $70, and include not only the material found here but also one of the best chapters on theory to be found in any book written for any level of student. Again, it depends on what youre looking for. Many may purchase the print volumes and blow off the material because it doesnt read as whiz-bang. I dont think thatd be the case after seeing these tricks performed. And I have a strong hunch that if more folks spent the intended amount of time with either the print volumes or these DVDs and didnt drop the same amount of money every time the next big thing hit the shelves, thered be a lot less repetitive questions online about how you handle a double lift, a force, a palm, etc. For now, the lessons on these discs will put you ahead of the pack. Recommended.

Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $55.00 Review by Jim Kleefeld Very few teaching videos are released by major illusionists, so when one comes along I take notice. The latest release is from JC Sum and Magic Babe Ning. (Yes, she really does go by that name maybe it doesnt sound as cheesy in Asia.) It is a very solid and valuable tool for almost any performing magician. Sum and Ning are the premier Far East illusion act. They have toured extensively, worked for major corporations, and produced hugely

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popular television specials. They not only perform illusions, they invent, redesign, write about, and routine them, and have been doing so for many years. Ive been a fan since Sums first book, Illusionary Departures, came out in 2004. This two-DVD set contains two hours and forty minutes of solid material. First, Sum shows a live stage performance of an illusion, then he speaks candidly on camera examining and explaining the trick, routine, staging, and background, and then he replays the performance video with voice-over commentary, giving further details, tips, and suggestions. This show, tell, show and tell sequence is repeated eleven times, each time with a different illusion. Lets start by taking note of the videos accurate subtitle: Design, Approach & Performance. The main focus of this video set is to examine Sums mostly unique illusion designs. He does not present a regular Sub Trunk, but rather a Crystal Metamorphosis. Its a Sub Trunk effect, but the box is clear Lucite with aluminum framing, trapezoidal in shape. He goes into detail about how the shape not only adds to the modern look, but how it also facilitates quicker entrance and egress. He also gives six important tips on making a Metamorphosis exchange faster. Each individual illusion segment could stand alone. Watch the performance. Listen to JC talk about the design, handling and more. Then grab some extra tips and advice from the replay with his commentary. Besides the Sub Trunk, there are ten other illusions, including a JC Sum and Magic Babe TV spot during which they performed their mega-illusion Aerial Flight in an outdoor mall. Five randomly selected spectators vanish from a curtained cabinet that has been hoisted twenty-four feet in the air. You get to watch the installation and set up as well as the live performance. Revollusion is Sums original design of an illusion with a giant industrial fan. Ning introduces and presents the illusion in which Sum makes a sudden appearance. The design and components are shown and examined, including numerous workshop photos of the illusion being built. Although he does not specifically explain the secret, anyone with some background in illusion work can discern it. If you really have to know the secret, it is fully diagrammed in his book Urban Illusions. He also uses the presentation to give advice on how and why Ning and he work as partner illusionists rather than magician and assistant. Impassible is Sums redesign of Steinmeyers Through a One-Inch Hole. Sum uses the presentation to explain not just design, but also why it is important to consider practicality when buying or building illusions. His design not only makes the prop look different, it also makes it much easier to transport and set up. With Smoke Chamber, he talks about why this illusion is not good for transporting, but works well in a long-run theater situation. A performance of Steinmeyers Modern Art is shown, presented by Kinetic Gal, but designed and routined by Sum. Modern Art is a very popular illusion and numerous performers present it. He includes this as an example of how to take a popular illusion and alter the design and presentation so that clients perceive your act as different from others. Human Light Tunnel and Shadow Vision are two illusions that Sum and Ning have routined together and present in sequence. You will discover his nifty take on redesigning old props to look modern, as well as some specifics about using curves to offset the boxy lines of many illusion designs. Light and Space offers a type of spike illusion that incorporates LED staffs, a penetration, and a vanish. Sums performance and explanation showcase a very nice application of a variety of box coverings, including a hinged panel, an additive panel, and an attached cloth. There is some very good advice about cloth

handling. This is the only performance in which the video does not show off the prop well, but it is difficult to film a trick during which the stage is dark and the prop has blinking lights. In addition to the segments on individual illusion, Sum also includes a segment on resources (he shows and describes numerous illusion books and plans), another segment on casing illusions (describing differences between using ATA, fiberboard, or canvas cases), and an extensive credit segment. The type and amount of credits offered here is unusually high. For most illusions he cites the originator or inventor, the date of invention, variations or modifications, and references to the illusion in books, often even including page numbers. It is very thorough crediting and may even send you to your magic book dealer for some follow-up research. Behind the Illusions is not an expos of methods. If you dont know anything about illusions, you wont learn how they all work by watching this. But if you are well-versed in illusion method, or well-read from illusion design books, the many tips and secrets Sum gives will be clear. For example, he mentions that a particular illusion works better with a step-down base rather than a bevel base. If you are new to illusions, you will find this DVD set a great motivator and may want to beef up your knowledge with illusion books. Sum has a very thorough resource section listing specific books and sources, including his own books and others by Rand Woodbury, Mark Parker, Jim Steinmeyer, and Paul Osborne. If you own most or all of those works, you will find this video set a very complementary addition to your knowledge bank. In addition, Behind the Illusions is a good buy for performers who are not illusionists. There is so much information about such topics as lighting, staging, routining, posing, holding for applause cues, cueing partners, and making tricks more visible that almost anyone who does a stage or parlor show of any kind can benefit. If all you ever do are card tricks for friends, you may not find this to your liking. Almost anyone else in the business will probably enjoy it and learn from it. Here is one last convincer on why you should buy this. I consider myself very well-read and knowledgeable in magic. Over the past thirty years, I have bought and read every illusion book I could find. Ive watched every illusion TV show that was ever on. But when I saw JC Sum and Magic Babe perform 360 Sawing on this DVD, I was literally startled. I gasped out loud. Then I reran the spot and immediately called my wife to come watch. Its not that the trick is unfathomable, but that the visual presentation really takes you by surprise and makes for a stunning stage visual. Behind the Illusions is well worth a look.


Available from: www.rsvpmagic.com/ Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $39.00 Review by Danny Archer Shaun McCree is a professional magician from the UK, and the star of this two-volume DVD from RSVPmagic. The sound, video, and disc navigation are all up to par and most of the performances were filmed live at a strolling or tableside gig, while the explanations were shot in a studio. Shaun explains all very clearly and you will have no trouble learning the material. Disc one leads off with Pat Pages Paper Money, in which colored papers change to Euros. Shaun uses this as an opener to make sure people watch him closely throughout the rest of his set.

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This does not have the same visual impact as many of the current handlings of this effect, but it is a tried and tested method. Everywhere & Aces is an effect in which four cards are removed from the deck as indicators that will tell the performer the name of the selected card. The four cards are shown as the selection and then change to the four Aces. Daley Rainbow combines Daleys Cavorting Aces with a Rainbow Deck finish. A color-changing deck routine is often used as an opener because some cards need to be preset. Shauns routine has been worked out so that it can be used anywhere in the set. Expert Away From the Card Table uses a small copy of the classic Erdnase text as the performer shows how he can cheat at cards. Four random cards change to the four Sevens; then the Sevens vanish and are reproduced from four different pockets, with the last Seven removed from the wallet. This is the routine Shaun uses to show his skill at card cheating. His handling of the Travelers plot has an interesting dodge I have not seen before. Norrin Rand (the real name of the Silver Surfer) is a four-coins across routine utilizing a shell nothing unique or memorable here, and it is very similar to the seminal Roth routine. Disc two starts off with The Fix. This is a multiphase routine in which a signed card transports itself, from a spectators hands into the magicians hands a quarter at a time. It uses an unusual gaffed card for an off-beat effect. Chopped or Dicedis an ungaffed chop cup routine with a dice cup and dice. This is a nice, simple routine with props you can easily find. Rainbow Poker has a packet of Jokers become printed one at a time into a royal flush with a Technicolor back climax. Global Aftershock has four different coins travel one at a time under a card, then vanish to reappear in the hand. Devils Card uses a bizarre presentation for a nice handling of the classic Open Prediction. Odd One In is a jumbo monte routine like Sidewalk Shuffle but with an odd back climax. Also explained is Shauns Biddle Grip Elmsley Count. This is one of those DVDs that is hard to pigeonhole. Shaun uses a number of advanced sleights, which means that this is not for the rank beginner. The routines offered are variations of the classics that most advanced hobbyists or pros already have a version of in their repertoires. That being said, the material did spark an idea or two that I will explore. So to me, this means that the people in the middle of the above two groups would be most likely to find some effects that they can use and learn.

that position (which he calls the Dynamic Back Thumb Palm). In addition, you will learn a number of his routines using these techniques. This DVD is really for the advanced coin man and it is assumed that you already know a number of other advanced sleights that are required to perform some of these routines. These include the muscle pass, edge grip, multiple coin transfers, and the Harada Holdnot for the faint of heart. I can assure you that practicing Mr. Godons teachings will not go unrewarded. There is some really startling, visual magic presented here. Mr. Godon is French and many of his actions and movements are idiosyncratic. You will need to determine if these actions are applicable to your own style or if they can be adjusted. Also, much of the material is not for strolling magic, because there are some angle issues. But, as Slydini said, a good general sets his battleground. There is no speaking in either the performance or the teaching, but everything is well explained. The photography is very clean and combines both color and black and white. The performances have the best views and angles from the front. The explanations are shot over the shoulder for a performers view. The performance is then repeated in slow motion. There are also a lot of credits in the end titles. As far as the routines go, there are several sequences of production, vanish, and reproduction of single coins, as well as multiple coins. Some are bare-handed; some use a wand or a silk. There is a Three Fly routine and a multi-phase Spellbound routine. His Continuous Production is reminiscent of the Sylvester Pitch, but with an open hand. This is the main advantage of using these techniques; the hands are palm out to the audience and look very empty. There is a bonus section in which Lawrens performs a Contact Juggling routine with a single, very large, clear ball. It is beautifully performed and the ball really appears to be floating. If you like coin magic and are not afraid of a little hard work, you will love this DVD. I highly recommend it.

Available from: kranzomagic.myshopify.com Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $34.95 Review by Jamie Salinas I must admit, I had no idea what a Mene Tekel Deck was when I first saw the title of the DVD. Whether you do or not, this product is worth considering. The DVD begins by crediting Friedrich Wilhelm Conradi with the decks invention way back in 1896! The deck is a specially gaffed pack that allows you to perform a variety of card effects. Nathan Kranzo starts off explaining how the basic gaffed deck is constructed as well as some of the variations in the gaffed decks. You are supplied with two variations of the Mene Tekel Deck, one red-backed and one red\


Available from: www.jokemagie.com Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $40.00 Review by Marc DeSouZa

Moneypulation is subtitled visual coin techniques for the advanced magician and no one could accuse the producers of this DVD of false advertising. The routines and techniques on this DVD are based on a rarely used coin sleight, the Back Thumb Palm. Mr. Godon is a master of this sleight and does a great job of teaching you several techniques for getting coins in and out of

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blue-backed bicycle deck of cards. The video is of the homemade variety. Despite being a self-made video, it is well done. Nathan covers four very basic effects that can be performed with the pack. The effects are very simple and straightforward. One of the more notable effects is using the deck to divine a freely selected card. There are five tricks covered on the DVD using the red\blue deck. In this portion of the DVD, there are clips from what looks to be a lecture performance. The change in the volume of the audio is a bit distracting but not enough to impair your ability to learn the effects. The basic effect done with the red/blue pack is that you predict a freely selected card with a different-coloredback card. All five effects are variations of this premise. Nathan provides a variety of general routines with the deck in another section of the DVD. A couple of notable effects include a signed card to spectators pocket and a signed card to an empty sealed and signed envelope. Nathan credits the various originators for several of the effects covered in this section. Nathan also includes one of his signature routines using the special deck. You will see footage taken from a live performance as well as footage from a lecture. This is Nathans version of having a card freely named and then pulling from his fly a prediction card that matches the named card. Nathan includes several bits of comedic moments in this very commercial variation. The last section deals with using a standard pack of cards configured after the manner of a Mene Tekel Deck. Nathan teaches and demonstrates three variations. Pay close attention to the card stab handling taught in this section. Even if you are familiar with the Mene Tekel Deck, you will find something worth taking a look at. For those of us who are not familiar with this special pack of cards, you will no doubt get a crash course in this concept. Card workers who do not mind using a gaffed deck will almost certainly find a routine or two that can be added to their performances. Packaged with two packs of the special decks, Mene Tekel Miracles is a good buy.


Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price: $47.00 Review by David Goodsell

Perhaps most magicians think of Bob Cassidy in terms of highdollar corporate mentalism, for which he is justifiably renowned. But those who have attended his lectures, or read his books, or dabbled on the fringes of paranormal magic know that the breadth of his knowledge and experience is remarkable. This you will discover as you explore his recent CD, titled simply, Sance. The title item on this CD is the twentythree-page ebook Sance, which outlines Bobs approach to performing sances for private gatherings. Bobs approach to the sance is to provide atmosphere and generate audience expectations (sometimes with the aid of a confederate) that in themselves can cause unexpected results, not unlike stage mentalism. Success with this will depend on the performers ability to manage and direct audience emotions and response, but if one can do that, the results can be quite dramatic. The nature of the modern sance is somewhat different from

what we have come to expect in the Victorian-era sance popular in the first half of the last century. You wont learn how to produce ectoplasm, you wont use spirit trumpets and tambourines in the dark, but you will help your audience experience the presence of paranormal effects, not unlike those made popular on certain television reality shows purported to bust ghosts. The thinking is sound, because most people are at least vaguely familiar with the claims made on those reality shows and can identify with the concepts. A half-dozen sance effects are briefly described in this ebook. One of the most effective uses a borrowed digital voice recorder to tape the interchange between the medium and those around the table as they concentrate on a goblet of liquid in an effort to extract long lost memories. When the performer plays back the recording using a laptop and software that shows the electronic wave imagery of the voices, unusual wave segments appear. The software enables the medium to isolate those segments and play them back, yielding unknown voices. Difficult to do? Not really, when you know how, and Bob tells you where to find the free software. Another excellent item is a variation on table tipping, or table moving, and the classic pendulum effect using two corked bottles, each with a pendulum inside the bottle. Bob also explains how to generate strange, bright spheres, or orbs, on digital photographs. These weird orbs sometimes appear anyway on digital photos, as unexpected spots, but Bob has a way to generate them. The reader will find his appetite whetted, but not wholly satisfied by this book. The trick descriptions are brief summaries of the effects and the methods, and the reader will need to find his own way in developing a viable presentation. However, also on the CD is a two-hour mp3 recording of Bob Cassidys sance tele-seminar hosted by Michael Weber. The interchange between Bob and Michael (both extremely knowledgeable) is highly stimulating, and Bobs response to call-in questions about the use of music in setting atmosphere, physical phenomena that are appropriate with todays audiences, the best venues for sances, marketing sances, and presenting them as theater (vs. the real thing) is very informative. As a third item on the CD, Bob added another six pages of notes written after the tele-seminar to further elaborate on select topics that were discussed. Finally, as a bonus, Bob has included a PDF copy of the excellent 1907 text on sances and mediums, Behind the Scenes with the Mediums, by David P. Abbott. This is a must read for anyone who is interested in paranormal entertainment, and although it is a hundred years old, the material will stimulate ideas that can be incorporated in 21st century entertainment. Anyone who is interested in expanding their performance interests, who is serious about the theatrical elements of paranormal entertainment, or who simply wants to explore ways to bring mentalism and mental magic up to date should have this CD in his library.


Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $40 Review by Jim Kleefeld Craig Petty and David Penn have established a bit of a following for their usually clever, often funny, and sometimes outrageous product review videos at Wizard FX. Petty has released several notable products in the past, including Keymaster, Mirage Coins, and Quarantined. Chop is Pettys impromptu-looking Chop Cup

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routine with some handling added by David Penn. It is a long, multi-phase routine, with numerous magical moments. It uses any handy disposable cup and a borrowed and signed bill. The bill vanishes and reappears from your hand, from under the cup, and from the spectators hand. In one phase, the spectator holds the empty cup on an outstretched palm and actually feels the bill arrive under the cup. As a climax, the bill vanishes completely and a lemon appears under the cup. The lemon is examined, sliced open, and the signed bill is found inside. The moves are simple, but because the routine is long, there are many of them. You will need to spend some serious practice time to get all the handling down in the various sequences, but the reward is great: a clear, funny and magical routine with several very surprising magical moments and a killer ending. One of the nice things about the routine is its clarity. Many multi-phase routines become cluttered to the point of obfuscation. In Chop, the spectators are never asked to remember, back track, or refer to earlier phases. Each small moment of a vanish, reappearance, or transposition is clear. In other words, you can perform this even if your spectators are not really paying close attention, an unfortunate but likely scenario in many table-hopping situations. The price includes your standard one-trick DVD instructions, but in this case it also includes a finely made gimmick. Actually, there are two components: one item is a gimmick, the other is a feke. I wont tell you what the components are, but you do realize that this is a chop cup routine, right? The gimmick is used to make a bill suitable for the chop cup. The feke, although in play for most of the routine, is so unobtrusive as to be virtually unnoticed by most spectators. Pettys handling of the routine keeps the object in plain view, but makes it ubiquitous. I thoroughly enjoyed the construction of the routine and can see it working well for many close-up workers. It feels informal, and as such will likely play best in a regular table-hopping venue, as opposed to a formal sit-down show. Although it is long, it goes smoothly in Pettys hands, and does not feel over-long. The thorough video shows you three complete run-throughs, plus a very detailed explanation with numerous tips and subtleties. You will find the routine easy to learn and easy to do once you settle in and accustom yourself to the long sequences of handling. Now that you know you are getting a fine prop, a good routine, and a well-taught lesson, you still have to decide if this is a worker for you. There are a few performance downsides. Since the routine concludes with a signed bill in lemon, you have to carry a knife and lemons with you. You slice open a lemon at the table and have the spectator extract her signed bill. It is a very magical moment, but it leaves two wet lemon halves on the table and a very wet bill in the spectators hands. As in a sponge ball routine, if the spectator does not extract, open, and verify the bill herself, you have lost a lot of the magic. The women in the pub where Petty filmed were impressed, but I wonder what they said to each other after he walked away and they sat looking at their sticky hands and mashed soggy bill. Besides the wet bill issue, there is a pocket management issue. If you stroll or table-hop, you will need to wear a sports coat with pockets, you will need to carry bulky lemons with you, and you

will need to restock or reset lemons continually with wet sticky hands. Petty does not cover this during the explanation other than to mildly suggest you carry some wet-naps. He credits his partner for some handling, but fails to give any background or history. The routine owes a lot to Don Alan and the methods historical heritage is Nicholas Nights Enigma (which was first marketed about eight years ago) and John Carneys Fruit Cup from Carneycopia. One last recommendation: The DVD includes a very nice bonus routine in which Petty uses the supplied feke to perform magic. Since that gimmick looks like a common household item, the routine plays well. As a stand-alone routine, it is clever, magical, and fun to watch. The object (which he uses later in his Chop routine) vanishes, reappears, comes apart, goes back together, and relocates to several places. You could learn this and perform it as a competent strolling or close-up routine anywhere. But in one live performance, Petty uses this bonus routine and immediately segues into Chop. The problem with this combination of routining is that it focuses a lot of unwanted attention on the prop that is supposed to be inconspicuous. Calling attention to the item as being magical is the last thing you want to do when you present Chop. You want to have that household item available, but mentally out of play as far as the spectators are concerned. Remember this advice if you buy this product: Perform Chop if you find it suitable to a particular venue. Use the bonus routine if you want. But dont use the two routines together in the same set. There is ample magic in Chop, and its a decent value. For your $40 you get a fine set of gimmicks, a well-honed routine, and almost two hours of clear video instruction. If you dont mind soaking your spectators bill in lemon juice, go for it.


Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $99.00 Review by David Goodsell The Minimax Detector is a utility device for locating hidden objects, as long as they are magnetic, such as a magnetic coin or card. Obviously its use is limited. The three routines included in the instructional DVD involve the magician finding a magnetic coin held in one or another of the spectators hands, finding a coin covered by one of six playing cards, or finding a marked coin among five by his sense of smell. In each case this is accomplished by bringing the hidden device near the location of the coin. The device itself is about an inch long and just a little over a quarter inch in diameter; it operates off a very small battery. The device is easily clipped between the second and third fingers at the base of the palm where it remains hidden, with a little care. It activates when the open hand, palm down, is brought near a magnet. The Minimax I tested worked as advertised when brought within one to two inches of a standard refrigerator magnet, and within an inch of a magnetic half-dollar covered by a playing card. However, it had to be almost touching a magnetic English penny. It easily detected a half-inch rare-earth magnet from three inches. It did not detect a tiny eighth-inch rare-earth magnet, nor

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did it work on a cheap ball magnet. Clearly its success depends on the strength of the magnet it is seeking. Also, since the device draws power from the small battery used, that battery will need to be replaced periodically. But they are easily found at electronic shops and are very inexpensive. By the way, these location effects are not new and have been accomplished in the past by secreting a magnet in the fingers, using a PK ring, or sometimes by simply having a piece of iron hidden in the hand. Those, too, depended on the strength of the magnetic device for success. Why buy it? You clearly know it when the device locates the magnetic object, and this will lend a surety to the location that some people have trouble with using a hand-hidden magnet or metal device. The size and shape of the device is such that it can be hidden in a sleeve or under a leather watch-band, as described in the DVD, but that only scratches the surface. The creative performer will undoubtedly come up with many more uses for the Minimax. No, it wont locate a magnetic coin from six inches away. It wont locate a steel spike inside a paper bag. It is pricey, but if you can come up with a unique object and fit it with a strong magnet, you may be able to develop a routine that will have magicians and laymen alike scratching their heads. MiniMax Detector comes with the device, an instructional DVD all visual, no speaking a small printed page of additional information, two batteries, and a very small leather case for the device and the batteries. This is not for everyone, but it might be for you.

version of Cards Across to your act, then I think you should take a look at the performance on YouTube and see if this works for you. There is plenty of room for comedy byplay with the suggested presentation. Sleight-of-hand performers will probably have a version of this in their arsenals already, but may consider the larger cards used for Kings Crossing a benefit. The price is a bit high, but the cards are very well made and they allow you to do a clean version of this magic classic; if you like the effect and will perform it, the price is worthwhile.


Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $45.00 Review by Antonio M. Cabral In the never-ending search for the Ambitious Card finale, Mickael Chatelain offers Speed, an extremely visual appearance of a signed playing card face-up on top of the deck. The card is inserted into the middle of the deck, and another playing card is used as a magic wand to tap the top of the deck, upon which the signed selection instantly and visibly appears. Speed is certainly an improvement over the previous item of Chatelains I reviewed. This effect, at least, is well worth performing, and the gaffs arent nearly as cumbersome. Plus, it looks pretty good. The big problem is that it sounds awful. You tap the top of the deck with the one card and you hear the gimmick snap shut every time. This isnt something you can get rid of with practice, either; its just the nature of the gimmick. You get no indication of that in the performance clips, because the overdubbed music conveniently covers everything up. (If you like, you can do a search on YouTube and watch any music-less demos of the trick. The gimmick provides its own percussion.) To top it off, the gimmick I received is (intentionally or not) built for a right-handed performer. I tried it left-handed and the results were even more disastrous. The instructional portion of this DVD is again a series of subtitled video clips. The previous DVD I reviewed had what looked to be low-quality YouTube clips in place of actual instruction. These at least are high quality clips, and the level of instruction is a little clearer. But again, no audio means you never hear the tell-tale snap, and Chatelain doesnt even acknowledge it or offer a way to overcome it (if there is one). My advice: Learn a startling color change and pass on this item. I give it an A for concept and an F for execution.


Available from: www.paltergeist.com Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $60.00 Review by Danny Archer Here is the basic effect: Twenty red-backed jumbo cards are counted by the performer. Ten are removed, spread face up, and all are shown to be King of Spades. The Kings are handed to a spectator to hold. The remaining ten cards are all shown to be Ace of Diamonds and are handed to a second spectator. The performer never touches the cards again. Three Kings are magically caused to travel from one packet to the other; when the King packet is counted by the spectator it only has seven cards. The spectator holding the Ace packet counts thirteen cards; when they spread it face up, three Kings are seen interspersed among the Aces. Kings Crossing is a handling for the classic Cards Across routine using jumbo cards and a hands-off presentation that makes it play very clean. What you receive are all the jumbo cards and an instructional DVD (featuring Jason Palter) that teaches the effect. The underlying method for Kings Crossing is an old idea in a new dress. The method is very clever, and will fool laymen (and most magicians) who see this performed. There is no sleight of hand required by the performer, but some audience management skill is needed. The suggested presentation, using a man and woman to assist, seems to be the way to go with this routine. So who is this for? If you are looking to add a stage or parlor


Distributed by Fun Incorporated: www.funinc.com Price $25.00 Review by W.S. Duncan A number of years ago Bruce Bernstein witnessed Dan Garrett perform Pin-Demonium, a linking safety pin routine that uses two ungaffed (at least in the Jerry Andrus sense of the word) safety

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pins. That routine inspired the one you will learn from this DVD. Over the years Mr. Bernstein has trimmed the Garrett routine a bit, and has added a penultimate link to put a coda on the effect. When I first saw Dans routine performed on television by Bob Sheets, I was blown away. Having purchased the Andrus Linking Pins from Jerry himself, I simply couldnt fathom how Mr. Sheets was getting the gaff in and out. When I found out that the routine used pins from the corner store, not the special pins of the Andrus routine, I was even more impressed at the quality of the illusion. There is no question in my mind that anyone who masters this effect will have a close-up miracle that they can present to virtually any small audience at any time. Better still, if you lose your pins (or if they are confiscated by airport security) you can prepare a new set in a short time. The Linking Pin routine taught on this DVD is Dan Garretts routine, minus a bit, so you are paying for the teaching and Mr. Bernsteins ending. The video is professionally shot, and you can probably learn the routine from it. You probably wont learn much about performing it. The presentation on this DVD is about as

dry as you can imagine. Given that Garretts original routine is available for the same price on a DVD called Grab That Pinhead, which also features Bob Sheets, and that both Bob and Dan are very experienced professional performers, the only compelling reason to purchase the Bernstein Linking Pin DVD is for Mr. Bernsteins original ending to the effect. The introduction of a finger ring does provide a nice ending, if you think the effect needs one. And while on the DVD it is presented using Mr. Bernsteins own (not gimmicked in any way) wedding ring, smart performers will borrow the ring from a spectator, both proving the unprepared nature of the ring and involving the audience personally in the effect. Im not certain this effect needs an ending, as its not exactly a closer effect, but if you like the idea of unlinking a spectators ring from one of the pins while simultaneously linking the other pin on, and if that idea is worth the money to you, then this DVD should make you happy. For $25 the DVD comes with a pair of safety pins prepared for the effect and a poster to aid you in your practice.

If you wish to have your product reviewed please send it to:

BiLL DUNCAN P.O. BoX 50562 BELLEVUE, WA 98015-0562

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I Got ItI Got It I Dont Got It

If you do not recognize the above quote, its from Mel Brookss motion picture High Anxiety. Two characters (Thornhill and Brody) are trying to carry something heavy and Brody is struggling. Like much comedy it does not read like much, but in the film it is memorable. For those of you who have my book or who have attended my lecture about illusions, you know I recommend that would-be illusionists begin with illusions that can be presented by solo artists. Any head chopper or guillotine effect would fit in this category, as would the various volunteer sawing outfits. An Abbotts Super-X Levitation would, too. With any of these you have added the drama and spectacle of a big, stage effect, but without the necessity of a partner and a payroll. The next illusion acquisitions should be those that require only your performing assistant. These would include the Zig-Zag Lady, a Sub Trunk, a Broom Suspension (my number one choice) and a Dollhouse Illusion. There are, of course, many more. As you expand, though, there will be another threshold looming before you and it has been on my mind much lately. I have in the past year gone through all the trials and tribulations of the all-American divorce. This has been both difficult and painful. It has also required me to physically move much, but not all, of my illusion inventory. I must state that I would much rather move illusions even big, heavy ones than personal possessions and furniture. Illusions are in rectangular cases and go from a garage or warehouse to another garage or warehouse. There is no dealing with steps or doorways and hard-to-manage sofas. Heres my caveat to all readers who have become enamored by some shiny illusion prop: Be wary of buying an illusion that you cannot move yourself. Please read that again and commit it to memory. Perhaps you think that since youll have an assistant onstage with you, its okay to have illusions that require two people to move them. If you feel that way you are demonstrating a lack of practical performing experience. I guarantee you will have more-than-frequent show situations where your lovely and reliable assistant can do the show, but cannot help you load your vehicle, set up the show, or remain afterwards to help you strike all your gear. Even if your illusion arrives in an ATA case on wheels, you will still want to have a couple of hand trucks or dollies in your service. They will allow you to almost easily load props you cannot possibly lift on your own. I have an Owen Magic Supreme Crystal Casket that weighs almost three hundred pounds in its shipping case. I can load this illusion into my van all on my own if I have to. This illusion is stored upright, on end. By getting a twowheeled dolly under one of its short, narrow ends, I can tip the entire case back towards me and roll it to the back doors of my Ford Econoline van. When its positioned properly, I can tip it back so it more-or-less falls into the back of the van. With the van taking much of the props weight, I can lift the end still on the

by David Seebach
ground and slide it in. The carpeted floor of the van helps, too. The larger the dollys wheels are, the easier it will be to roll over any bumps, like the threshold of a doorway. Remember, you must roll both wheels over simultaneously or you risk your load tipping and falling. Wheels that are tires and inflated also have their advantages over hard rubber wheels. I strongly urge you to invest in a convertible dolly. This type has another set of wheels that are not used when the dolly is in its customary upright position. These smaller wheels near the top of the dolly allow it to become a cart when you place it down on all four wheels. This second set of wheels can steer like the front wheels of a shopping cart. Youll learn, though, that its better to roll with the larger wheels in front and you pushing and steering from behind. If you do not follow my advice, youll push your Sub Trunk along and encounter a pavement crack or flaw that stops these small wheels, but not your illusion, and it will continue forward off the dolly or fall off to the side. I moved lots of my Owen Magic inventory recently. On my own I was able to manage these items: Thin Model Sawing, Mis-Made Girl, Geometrick, Where Do the Ducks Go?, Alice Thru the Looking Glass (the stands and uprights, not the mirror), Burning Alive, Reincarnation, Hindu Basket and its decorative base, the Owen Redwine/Dan Summers Compressed, one-half of a Bill Smith Twister, and quite a few more. Brett Daniels offered to help me out, and together we moved Impaled and Matildas Wardrobe. Illusions like the Sword Cabinet and Stretching a Woman are not appreciably bigger in their cases, but they are so dense that their weight makes them terribly hard to move without assistance. Just yesterday, I was able to use a hand truck and position the bulky Paper Doll Machine at the back of my van. I tipped it in, but I was unable to hoist its protruding end to slide it in. A neighbor came to my recue and I decided right then to pen this column. At my new home I was able to park the van with its rear tires in the low spot of the gutter so that the vans rear was very low to the ground with respect to the slope of my driveway. I pulled the illusion out and was able to tip it back upright and wheel it into the garage. Ive also learned that too much help is often more trouble than its worth. The principles of moving large, heavy illusion cases are skills that must be learned, like back-palming or a double lift. Give me just one or two people who have experience and we can make very short work of loading (or unloading) an entire illusion show. You will have no choice; you will learn how to do it. Just watch out for hernias. David A Seebach www.davidseebach.com david@davidseebach.com

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table in front of you. Fan the five cards as four, keeping the last two squared as one, and openly show the cards in order. Close the fan and drop the packet face down onto the face-down deck. Ask a spectator to name any one of those four cards. You are now going to do an Ambitious Card type of effect, but when you come to the card named by the spectator, you will place it aside face down. There is really nothing to remember except the sequence used in the Ambitious Card part of the trick, because you simply place the nominated card aside when you come to it; however, here is the procedure: If the Ace is chosen: Place the top card (the selection) aside, face down. Take the next card, calling it the Two of Hearts, and place it below the top card of the deck. Turn the top card face up to show to the Two of Hearts and place face up it on the table. Take the next card, calling it the Three of Hearts (without showing it), and place it second from the top and square up. Turn the top card over, showing the Three of Hearts. Place it face up on the table with the Two of Hearts. Take the top card, naming it as the Four of Hearts, and place it on the face (bottom) of the deck. Explain that the Four has to travel up though the entire deck. Turn the top card over, showing the Four of Hearts, and place it on the table face up, with the other cards. Ask the spectator to turn over the supposed Ace of Hearts to discover the selected card. If the Two is chosen: Take off the top card, calling it the Ace of Hearts, and place it below the top card of the deck. Turn the top card over to show the Ace of Hearts and place it face up on the table. Take the next card, calling it the Two of Hearts, and place it aside, face down. Take the next card and place it below the top card of the deck, calling it the Three of Hearts, and square up. Turn the top card over, showing the Three of Hearts. Place it on the table. Take the next card, calling it the Four of Hearts, and place it on the face (bottom) of the deck. Turn the top card over to show the Four of Hearts. Turn over the tabled card to show the selection. If the Three is chosen: Take the top card, calling it the Ace of Hearts, and place it second from the top. Turn the top card over, showing the Ace of Hearts. Place this card face up on the table. Repeat with the next card, calling it the Two of Hearts; it travels to the top and is placed face up on the table. Take the next card, calling it the Three of Hearts, and place it face down on the table (it is the selection). Take the next card, calling it the Four of Hearts, and place it at the face (bottom) of the deck. Turn the top card over, showing the Four of Hearts. Finally, turn over the tabled face-down card to show the selection. If the Four is chosen: Take off the top card, place it second from the top and turn over the top card, showing the Ace of Hearts. Place it on the table. Repeat with the next two cards. Place the next card, calling it as the Four of Hearts, face down on the table. Then, turn it over and show the selection.



following routine; I use it all the time. Please send a thank you to my friend Roy Walton for sharing it with

Ambitious 1-2-3-4

By Roy Walton Roy was so taken by Al Bakers Ambitious Card Routine that he came up with this presentation. Have a card selected and control it to the face of the deck. Turn the deck so the faces of the cards are toward you as you say that you need the Ace, Two, Three, and Four of Hearts to continue the trick. Since you can see the chosen card on the face of the deck, you can note if it happens to be one of the Hearts you require. If it is, name another suit. It is preferable to use four cards of the opposite color of the selected one. Lets assume that you are removing the Ace to Four of Hearts and that the selected card is the King of Spades. Remove the Ace of Hearts first and place it on the face of the deck, covering the chosen card. Then remove the Two of Hearts, Three of Hearts, and Four of Hearts and place them on the face. Square these four cards and in so doing steal the selected card beneath them. Hold the packet face up from above in the right hand. Place the deck face down on the

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business and performing my best show. Rest assured, I dont intend to add a car production anytime soon; for me it has to be able to go on the airplane and be easily replaced if my checked luggage doesnt arrive. But there is a lot of great magic that increases the scale and visual interest of my show while meeting those standards. The next thing I realized was that all my concerns and objections about props had to do, not with their fact, but rather with the ways many magicians use them. Thus, I have come to identify three common types of prop mis-uses, abuses, problems, or mistakes that I see with magicians time and again, including competition winners and even top professionals. My goal in this and next months columns is to articulate these mala-propisms so that you can be on the lookout for them in your own work. 1. Disconnection. Consider this: The magician takes out a pack of cards and shuffles them while launching into a discussion about card cheats. Or the performer starts linking and unlinking rings while maintaining strong eye contact and gesturing for applause. These are common enough scenes, but what often happens in these moments is a subtle problem that is nearly invisible except to the audience. That is, the performer is using these visually interesting tools, but doesnt make clear what his relationship is to them. You would recognize this problem instantly if we were in class and I could show you some video examples. In lieu of that, I invite you to simply recall a recent performance you have seen or have given yourself: The props come out, and they are put into play. Often we are busy talking, working the audience, and not looking at the props because we need to do sleight of hand with them. And when that happens, what settles into our show is a strange disconnection between our attention and the tools we are using. We need the props, but we dont want to convey we need them or draw attention to them. So we look away. The result of this is a weird split in the middle of your show, one that you wont feel, but your audience will. He just takes that stuff out and does things. Why? Why those things? Oh, they must be tricky. Ssssssss that is the sound of magic leaking out of our show. Again, you wont feel the split and you cant see it in the mirror because then you are looking at the mirror, not your props which is exactly the problem! The only way to get after it is to study video of your shows and to start noticing it in the work of other performers. I think you will be astonished to discover how common this problem is. So, having identified this first mala-propism of disconnection, what can we do about it? One part of the answer comes to us from one of my teachers, the great Bob Fitch: Endow your props! Time and time again, from the back of the studio (and now in my inner mind), Bob calls out to me: Endow your props! That is, clarify in your mind what your specific relationship is to the prop you are using, and then perform it. For example, do you love your playing cards? Do you love the feeling of them in your hands, the pleasures of manipulating them with precision? You must, or you wouldnt be a card magician! So convey that when you remove the cards from the box and display them in a colorful, elegant fan. Do you love your linking rings? Then pause a moment, enjoy them, and anchor yourself in these beautiful objects. Love is a great relationship to manifest with your props, but you have many options. Perhaps you fear your floating wand. Perhaps you are mystified by your cups and balls. Perhaps you are confounded by those re-appearing cigarettes. (Cardini was a great master at this endowing practice.) The other part of the answer is to make sure you understand and convey why you your character is using exactly those props. For instance, why might my philosopher-magician pull out the linking rings? If I havent worked that out in my own mind and expressed it in the show, then it cant help but look like I have raided a magic shop. Whatever decisions you make in these matters, overcoming the split between yourself and your props will make a more enjoyable, coherent show for everyone especially you! Next month we will consider two other common prop mal-adaptions. See you then!

Mala-Propisms, Part One

book The Secret No One Tells You (Hahne 2008), Jim Steinmeyer challenges the current widespread assumption that the best, purest, most artistic magic and mentalism eschews the use of apparatus. Confronting the rhetorical question used time and again to protect this assumption What would a real magician do? Jim replies: Magic is about physical things. Its a visual art. A real magician would perform a range of things with objects, and [thus] bring production value to the performance. A real mentalist would bring along slot machines, ...books, astrological charts, et cetera, in an effort tomake what hes doing look colorful, attractive, and interesting. Believe me, no audience expects you to do it with nothing. Theyve all seen magicians in movies or television shows, and they know that part of the act is having things that look interesting and that help the magician in his act. This argument really caught my attention, because Jim is saying that our modern minimalism about props is dogma, and problematic to boot. I started wondering, is it true that He who performs with the fewest toys wins? Or is this simply an unexamined notion or popular meme that compromises the quality of our shows? Jim did me a great favor: his argument led me to examine my own views and practices surrounding the use of props in magic. One of the first things I realized is that I have never been tempted by the rhetoricalquestion removal of props from magic. On the contrary: over the years, as I gained performing experience and was hired to do bigger shows, more props have come to populate my stage, and that has been the exact right thing for me. Of course, this means that my travelling involves more luggage and expense, but for me this is simply the cost of doing

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in life, I think it is good to have people you look up to, respect, and can learn from. I have been very lucky: many people have been kind enough to let me into their world. There is a man who lives in Dallas whom I look up to, and he doesnt even know it. Were you to meet him at a magic convention you would misjudge him. You would write him off as a casual armchair magician and who couldnt entertain his way out of a paper bag. Were you not to talk to him, it would be your loss. Let me tell you about a recent trip he made back East. He was in Washington, D.C., on a business trip and was eating in some out of the way, hole-in-the-wall diner when the Secret Service walked in not one, not two, but three agents. They checked the place out; when it was deemed to be all clear, in walked Speaker of the House John Boehner. The question to consider is: what would you do if a major government figure came into a joint where you were having breakfast? I know what I would do nothing. I wouldnt attempt to make small talk with him, look at him, or bother him. I knew that those three Secret Service guys were all packing heat, and they dont mess around. My friend, however, approached the situation differently. He walked over to one of the agents and said, Hi. I am a magician, and I was wondering. Do you think the speaker would like a bit of magic before breakfast this morning? As far as Im concerned, this was not a good move.

The agent spoke to Boehner, returned to my friend, and told him in no uncertain terms that, as a matter of fact, the speaker would like to see some magic. My friend did one trick, a trick that starts out with the patter line, Have you seen this one? Well my friend got lucky and knew that after one trick it was time to stop. The speaker thanked him, and they both left with a story (or as my friend would say, a gift). We now fast forward to another encounter on the same trip. In his hotel he passed a woman sitting alone in the lobby; once again his tag line as he walked by was, Pardon me miss; I didnt want to seem rude and not say good morning, but have you seen this one? He did his opening trick, followed by the multiplying rabbits, and Anniversary Waltz for the lady and her husband. At the end of the short three-trick set the woman started to cry. The husband then told my friend that he had no idea how much this little performance meant to them. The day in question was the second trip for them for chemo treatment. The last little adventure came the next day, once again at a coffee shop. My friend performed for the lady who was waiting on him. After his stock opening line of Have you seen this one? and the trick that goes with it, the waitress mentioned that she was working two jobs in order to save money for her upcoming wedding. When my friend learned that she was about to get married, he had to do just one more trick for this young woman who was struggling just to get by. The question is, what trick would you have done for her on a Monday afternoon in a second rate cafe? Well, he could have performed the rabbits, sponge balls, or any one of a hundred tricks. My friend picked

out only one. He simply borrowed a dollar bill from the waitress and did the Hundred Dollar Bill Switch. Id guess that all of you have performed this trick at one time or another; it gets a good reaction. But Id bet money that you have never done it like he did it that afternoon. Once he changed her one-dollar bill into a hundred-dollar bill, the trick was over. He didnt change it back; he simply handed it to her and said, Well, its stuck like that. She started to cry, and, to be honest, Im starting to tear up as well, as I think about a moment with magic, a gift with magic, a memory of magic, that the waitress will have forever. The young girl told my friend, Now I have enough money to get my hair fixed. In all my years in magic, I know of no classier trick or performance than that simple presentation. I drove from Dallas to McKinney, Texas, to get the details of my friends trip and to find out exactly what happened. I took my friend to lunch; as we chatted, he told me that he looks at every performance as a gift to his spectator. Does he get paid? Yep. Every time he works. I get to watch him work on a regular basis, and if I dont want to watch I can just listen to the joy from the spectators as he charms them. As we finished lunch he said to me, Thank you for taking the time to come have lunch with an old man. The funny thing is, I was the one who should have been saying thank you. We all need heroes and Geoffrey Grimes is one of mine. He goes by the handle Doc, and when you meet him his opening line will be, Have you seen this one? I would recommend that you say no even if you have, and just sit back and enjoy yourself. I am betting that you leave with a memory.

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OCTOBER 2011 75


are great. During the summer months when Im working at home, I wear the older ones. I hate to throw them away. I have two favorites, both exactly the same, that are fifty percent cotton and fifty percent polyester. The back bears a design commemorating the 65th annual convention held in New Orleans in July of 1993. It was also Assembly 36s fiftieth year. It was so successful that the design was used again in 1998 when they added a front pocket with the S.A.M. logo; I have both versions. I dont remember the conventions, but Ill never forget the shirts. Nina complains that she finds them in every wash. They have not faded or lost their

Polo Shirts
not a collector. Frank Dailey described people like me as accumulators. He lists himself in that category as well. After every convention, I come home with chachkes little things that are not too useful, such as pins, lanyards, badges, buttons, and my find for this year: a noisy reel that is great for an identification badge but terrible for a Serpentine Silk. Assorted souvenirs go into the office box of things. The gifts and insignia booth is always fascinating, but the only things I like to buy are the polo shirts. When you see me in the dealers room or at an event, it looks like I am wearing the same shirt that I wore yesterday. Not so! I wear a fresh S.A.M. polo shirt every day. I wont wear the T-shirts because I hate the round necklines. The black and white shirts each year

1998 Polo shirt with front pocket

65th annual S.A.M. convention polo shirt

design in all of the eighteen summers since I bought them. (But you can see through the fabric.) I dont know if these things are collectables, but I will not sell them. If you want something that one day will be highly collectible, buy the baseball cap at www.samgifts.org. I wont tell you the secret; youll have to ask Mike Miller about the history of the item. This years deck of cards is also a good item to have. Its not only a logo item; it is also a great trick deck if you want to use it. And ask Manon about the scarf she and the registrars wore in Pittsburgh all week. (I wonder if they had a fresh one every day?)

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Some limitations are obvious. If youre a teenager, its going to be hard to sell the suave, debonair image in full evening dress. You can certainly work towards developing that image as you get older. This does not mean that its okay to dress for the stage as if youre headed to your job at the car wash after the gig. If you are younger than college age, appropriate patter is essential to making your character believable. Toss the routines that came packaged with the trick. Tell people you applied some of the theories learned in science classes to a deck of cards and this was the end result. That is an approach you can sell at your age. Those of us who are old have more choices, often too many, and we jump back and forth negating our credibility with our audiences. Whatever you determine your appropriate stage persona to be, stay in character. We all have several different shows, but part-timers work mostly for the same audiences. Dont confuse them by imitating Silly Billy when they bought a ticket expecting David Copperfield. Your goal is to establish a brand name a product in which the quality is consistent every time the consumer opens the box. Customers readily pay more for brand names over store brands as long as their expectations continue to be met. Establishing your stage character is vital. No presentations for individual tricks or scripts for shows can be written until you know who is going to be performing the effects. Whomever you do choose to become, make sure you can pull it off both visually and technically. Your props, stage furniture, costumes, and promotional material should all be correlated to identify with your brand name. Design a logo that will sell you to the buyer on its own. Does the red cross on a box of adhesive bandages or the balloons on a bread wrapper bring a specific brand name to mind? Whenever I see a stage cluttered with mismatched props my expectations are lowered before the performer utters his first word. A gaudy Square Circle sitting next to a plasma TV sends a confusing message. If youre hip enough to do tricks on your cell phone, then what is that covered silver cake pan for? There is nothing wrong with the classics provided that they are appropriately routined. Lump your boxes and tubes

while to get to this point. We have reduced our magic arsenal to items we can perform well and that we personally enjoy. Everything is now organized for quick reference. We have reached first base by paring down to only solid, commercial material. Second base is determining how we can best entertain an audience with our magic. First, what is your goal? Do you want to be the great mystifier in white tie and tails or do you just want to pick up girls using magic as an ice breaker? You must develop a credible character or stage persona. First determine your own strengths or weaknesses. Once you establish the parameters, you can create an image that an audience will accept (as long as you remain within your own skill set). I didnt get into magic until my thirties. My goal was to have fun. I wanted an avocation as far removed from my day job as possible. Getting a late start meant my chances of becoming a master manipulator were limited. I had entertainment experience as a musician, but the only skill I could transition into magic was my ability to tell a funny story. I decided to capitalize on the fact that I was Polish; I then could utilize all those jokes from years past that implied that my people were not among the sharpest pencils in the box. Thats how a comedy magician working as the Polish Wiserd was born. Yes, the word wizard is purposely misspelled on all of my artwork. Because I set a goal before ever setting foot on stage, and developed a game plan to reach that goal within my capabilities, I have had a great time for the past thirty-plus years. If you want to entertain an audience with your performance you must follow this same procedure. Determine what skills you possess and develop a character that fits your capabilities. The effects you chose to keep should give you a hint in that direction. They should all be favorites of yours. Is there a common theme? Do they indicate you lean towards manipulation or no-skill-required presentations?


Those of us who are old have more choices, often too many, and we jump back and forth negating our credibility with our audiences. Whatever you determine your appropriate stage persona to be, stay in character.
together for one show and your modern electronic marvels for another. At the very least paint everything in the same scheme so your props dont clash. Ill end with an example of why you must establish your character before you begin working on your presentations. Well use the venerable 1089 prediction for our illustration. If you decide to work as a serious mentalist, you would undoubtedly have your prediction in full view in a sealed envelope. Simple enough. The Polish Wiserd has an uncle named Stanley who traveled for a time with a band of gypsies in Europe. Although they did teach him many things, such as predicting the future, he came away with an aversion to earning an honest living. When the number 1089 is revealed it is hanging from Uncle Stanleys neck on a mug shot. This is why your character must be developed based on who you really are. Somebody may be able to appropriate your moves, but it will be impossible for them to steal your act. They are not, and never will be, you. Until next month give some thought to reinventing yourself. If you no longer find performing fun, a new image may rekindle the flame that once burned inside of you. If the phone isnt ringing because the economy is bad and your local audiences know your product is stale, its time for the new and improved marketing strategy to kick in. Contact me at polishwiserd@sbcglobal.net

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